CEBU, Philippines — All eyes will be on the world-ranked regional champions John Paul “Angas ng Cebu” Gabunilas and April Jay “Astroboy” Abne of ARQ Stable as they trade blows against separate rivals in “Engkwentro Singko” fightcard of ARQ Promotions today at the Bonifacio Bacaltos Sports and Cultural Centrum in Sibonga town, south of Cebu.
Gabunilas (6-1, 5KOs), the reigning Oriental and Pacific Boxing Federation (OPBF) Youth light flyweight titleholder, will take on Ricardo Sueno (10-5-4, 3KOs) of Sagay City, Negros Occidental in the main event of the first boxing show outside of Metro Cebu since the outbreak of the global pandemic over two years ago.
Abne, who currently holds the OPBF Silver flyweight belt, will try to steal part of the show as he slugs it out with Arnold Garde (10-12-3, 4KOs) of Roxas, Zamboanga del Norte in another 10-rounder match.
Gabunilas, from Barangay Pardo, Cebu City, and the Manticao, Misamis Oriental-native Abne hope to sustain their momentum coming off impressive victories during the “Engkwentro Kwatro” last March 19 at the Alta Vista Golf and Country Club.
Gabunilas floored WBF Intercontinental minimumweight titlist Clyde Azarcon of Big Yellow Gym three times en route to a spectacular first round knockout win, while Abne scored sweet redemption in a fifth round stoppage of his former tormentor Garen Diagan.
Interestingly, the 21-year-old Gabunilas swept his last four fights via short distance. He’s up for another tough test against the unpredictable Sueno, who is itching to bounce back from back-to-back defeats including against Regie Suganob - the unbeaten Boholano “Iron Man” who dealt Gabunilas his first and only career loss, so far.
On the other hand, welterweight contender Rodel Wenceslao (15-19-2, 6KOs) of Kanaga, Leyte will lock up horns with Mark Sales (23-44-5,8KOs) of General Santos City in an exciting duel of veteran ring gladiators.
The rest of the slambang action features the Piala brothers Rodex and Bryx vs Ivor Lastrilla and Jay-ar Aliasot, respectively, Bryan James Wild vs Jason Dogelio, Ramel Macado, Jr. vs Juvab Lucas, Berland Robles vs Reymark Alicaba, Ian Paul Abne vs Reynald Ewikan, and Yerroge Gura vs Vincent Bautista.