CEBU, Philippines - Cebuano ring star Z “The Dream” Gorres and former IBF minimumweight champion Roberto Carlos “Mako” Leyva were both cordial and civil to each other during their first face-to-face encounter but fans should brace for an explosive war when they slug it out in the main event of the keenly-awaited “Judgment at the Waterfront” card tomorrow night at the Pacific grand ballroom of Waterfront-Cebu City Hotel and Casino.
While Leyva declared he came here for war, Gorres said he’s in top shape and feeling strong as a bantamweight.
“My confidence level is high now that I moved up to bantamweight. I’m very comfortable and I feel strong [at this weight category],” said Gorres. “I’m ready to fight and expect a new Z Gorres.”
Leyva, though cool and soft-spoken, said he’s prepared to give Gorres a great and long fight, if necessary.
“Gorres earned a lot of respect from Mexican boxing fans because of his fight against Montiel (Fernando). But I’m a former world champion. Usually I fight in the 115 lbs. but the Gorres offer is too good to turn down,” said Leyva through his interpreter/manager Lee Bates, who writes for popular boxing website figthnews.com.
“When Mexicans fight, they give it all in the ring. This fight is no exception,” added Leyva. “I prepared hard for this and I’m going for war.”
Leyva’s trainer, former two-division world champion Raul Perez, said they ready if the battle will go the full distance.
“Gorres has never been stopped, but we are prepared for a long fight,” said Perez, who once reigned as the WBC bantamweight and WBA jr featherweight champion.
Ex-IBF 105-pound titlist Mohammad Rachman, on the other hand, reiterated his earlier claim that his showdown with against ALA Stable mainstay Milan Oleydong Sithsanerchai Melindo is just a tune-up for an impending title shot against WBC champion Oleydong Sithsanerchai this summer.
And the Indon visitor will go for no less than a knockout victory over Melindo, who is 16 years younger than him.
“This is a stepping stone for me because I will be fighting Oleydong,” said the 37-year-old Rachman, through his interpreter/manager Martinez Dos Santos. “I fight in the hometown of Melindo and I have no other choice than to win by knockout.”
But Melindo calmly brushed aside Rachman’s brazen remarks.
“First of all, I’m very thankful for having been given a tough opponent because this is a chance for me to show off all my skills,” said the reigning WBO Asia-Pacific and WBA Intercontinental minimumweight titlist. “If he (Rachman) considers this fight as a mere tune-up, let’s just wait and see whether he’s wrong or not with his pronouncement.”
In the other feature of the slambang event presented by ALA Promotions in partnership with Waterfront Hotel and giant TV network ABS-CBN, RP bantamweight king Michael Domingo will go up against Monico Laurente of Elorde Stable, while James Bacon will figure in a grudge rematch of sort with his former tormentor William Jorge of the Cagayan de Oro City-based Leolets Stable.
The rest of the undercards pit Joseph Von Miñoza vs. Rufino Mante, Marjohn Makahilig vs. Marlon Ariesga, Ricardo Campana vs. Jherpol Valero, and Jomar Cordinillo vs. Ricky Nuñez.
Meanwhile, the official weigh-in is scheduled at 11 am today at the SM City-Cebu Entertainment Center.
For ticket reservations, one may call/text Jeana at 0928-5057980 or 0928-5215772 or keep in touch with the ALA Promotions Office at 236-4611. (THE FREEMAN)