ESPN5 goes âbell to bellâ with daylong boxing
Chot Reyes, president and CEO of ESPN5, makes a fighting pose with prominent boxers (from left) AJ ‘Bazooka’ Banal, former Rio Olympian Mark Anthony Barriga, IBF jr-bantamweight champion Jerwin Ancajas and ‘Marvelous’ Marvin Sonsona during the ESPN5 launch of ‘Live Boxing Month.’
Jun Mendoza

ESPN5 goes ‘bell to bell’ with daylong boxing

Abac Cordero (The Philippine Star) - April 18, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — ESPN5 will virtually go like a bell-to-bell fighter as it presents world-class boxing matches all day on May 13. 

“It’s wall-to-wall boxing,” said TV5 president Chot Reyes of the presentation that kicks off with the airing of the WBA lightweight title clash between Vasyl Lomachenko and Jorge Linares at the Madison Square Garden.

The Lomachenko-Linares showdown airs on ESPN5 at 10 a.m.

Then at 3 p.m., a heavy nine-bout card dubbed “Survival Instinct” and presented by MP Promotions, Knuckleheads Pro and Joven Sports Promotions comes in.

Mark Anthony Barriga, the veteran of the 2012 London Olympics, resumes his quest for a world title when he faces Gabriel Mendoza of Colombia in an eliminator for the IBF minimumweight crown.

Fighting on the same card at the SM North Edsa Skydome are the comebacking Marvin Sonsona and AJ “Bazooka” Banal.

Gracing yesterday’s press luncheon was reigning IBF junior-bantamweight champion Jerwin Ancajas, who is set to defend his crown against countryman Jonas Sultan on May 27 in Las Vegas.

It’s a big day for the 24-year-old Barriga, who is 8-0 since turning pro in 2016. His 38-year-old opponent had seen it all with a 29-5-2 record laced with 23 knockouts.

“He’s a good boxer. It shows in his record. He’s no pushover,” said Barriga at the Raffles Hotel in Makati.

“This will be a tough fight,” added Barriga.

Sonsona, the former WBO super-flyweight champion, is coming off a long layoff. He last fought in June 2015 at the StubHub Center in Carson, California.

“I’ve rediscovered boxing,” said the 27-year-old Sonsona.

Banal, 29, is also on the comeback trail. He was out of the ring for two years, and returned to action with a victory over Jason Egera in Makati City last December.

“I think it’s not too late,” he said of his comeback.

Sonsona and Banal are in the thick of preparations for the May 13 bout although they have yet to finalize the deal with their respective opponents from Indonesia.

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