Sanman’s Bernaldez faces tough Bell in Vegas today
Emmanuel B. Villaruel (The Freeman) - July 3, 2020 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — Mark “Machete” Bernaldez (20-3, 14KOs) of General Santos City’s Sanman Gym hopes to replicate the feat of his stablemate ‘Magic’ Mike Plania as he battles the  undefeated American Albert Bell (16-0, 5KOs) in Top Rank’s ‘Boxing is Back’ series inside “The Bubble” at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas this morning.

Last month, Plania entered the ring as the heavy underdog but stunned the boxing world when he scored two solid knockdowns on the way to pull off a majority decision upset of WBO top bantamweight contender Joshua ‘Don’t Blink’ Greer Jr.

Bernaldez finds himself in a similar situation against Bell but he is up for the tough task in their 10-round rumble at a catchweight of 133 pounds (junior lightweight).

“Just like Mike (Plania), I am entering the ring as the underdog and maybe an acid test fight for their undefeated prospect. However that is also the way I see him. Another stepping stone for bigger fights in the future.

Bernaldez knows beforehand that he will have a hard time because of the height and reach advantage of the 6-footer Bell but expressed confidence he has what it takes to bring down his favored opponent.

“I know he’s a long distance fighter but I won’t let him let him dictate the fight. My team already have a plan on how to deal with him,” said Bernaldez. “I will just give my best and do everything  to take home the win.”

Since failing in his bid for the WBO Asia-Pacific lightweight title to Kye Mackenzie on October 5, 2018, Bernaldez won three of his last four bouts, the last was via a crushing first round knockout of Renan Portes on December 15 last year at the atrium of GenSan’s Robinsons Mall.

The 26-year-old Bernaldez faces a tall order against Bell, the reigning WBC Continental Americas super featherweight titlist.

Bell, 27 from Toledo, Ohio, grabbed the WBC regional crown with a unanimous decision win over the previously unbeaten Andy Vences on June 15 last year at the MGM Grand.

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