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Abaniel title defense spices up Elorde Memorial awards

Gretchen Abaniel

MANILA, Philippines - Lone Filipina world champion Gretchen Abaniel shows her world class when she stakes her Women’s International Boxing Association (WIBA) minimumweight crown against Fahpratan Looksaikongoin of Thailand in the “Fury at the Tent,” a side event of the 10th Gabriel “Flash” Elorde Boxing Memorial Awards, on March 25 at the Sofitel Hotel.

Abaniel will fight the Thai challenger in the 102 lb division in their scheduled 10-round bout, one of three main events slated right after the annual awards rites which will honor Manny Pacquiao as Boxer of the Decade and six other world champions who reigned in 2009.

The Gabriel “Flash” Elorde Memorial Boxing Awards-Banquet of Champions, now on its 10th year, is hosted by the Elorde Sports Foundation and is co-presented by Cobra Energy Drink in cooperation with the Johnny Elorde International Management, Inc.

This year’s awards rites will also be held in memory of the 25th death and 75th birth anniversary of Flash Elorde.

It also commemorates the 50th year of his first world junior lightweight championship on March 16, 1960, a reign the boxing legend extended to seven years until 1967.

In the other mainer, Vinvin Rufino fights Adonis Aguelo in a 12-rounder for the Philippine featherweight championship.

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The boxing card will be capped with the duel between Erickson Origenes and Joan de Guia at 10 rounds, 130 lb for the Luzproba super featherweight belt.

Three earlier bouts, which will serve as preliminaries to the main program, feature two Elorde grandsons who will face separate opponents starting at 5 p.m.

Juan Miguel “Mig” Elorde, 23, puts his unbeaten six-win record against Anthony Balubar in a six-rounder at 121 lb, while Juan Martin ‘Bai” Elorde has a nine-win streak going into his match with Thai Kan Hamonkol at 121 lb.

Both are sons of Johnny and Liza Elorde.

In the first bout, Glenn Sumingit clashes with Ariel Cardoza in a six-rounder at 11l lb.

Among the spectators are Pacquiao, the six 2009 Filipino world champions, 53 international champions and 15 Philippine champions who will all be gathered in two hours of celebration in the Flash Elorde Banquet of Champions.

Also to receive awards are the year’s best promoter, manager, trainer and referee and most promising boxer, the best fight of the year, three outstanding amateur boxers and others who had helped promote professional boxing in 2009.

The Elorde Annual Awards is sponsored by Smart, Alaxan, the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, Philippine Amusements and Gaming Corp., Family Rubbing Alcohol and Sofitel Hotel.

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