A new stage is set for some of the brightest prospects in Philippine boxing as ESPN5 tag-teams with GerryPens Promotions to search for the next Filipino boxing superstar with Ultimate Boxing Series: Kamaong Pinoy.
The Ultimate Boxing Series: Kamaong Pinoy is a boxing tournament presented in a reality format where 10 flyweight and 10 bantamweight fighters will be featured and will train together and fight against each other. The cream of the crop in both weight divisions will be featured as the co-main events for an upcoming GerryPens fight card on August 25, headlined by Carlo Peñalosa who will be gunning for the IBO flyweight title against Maximino Flores of Mexico.
"I'm not just a boxer," said boxing champion turned promoter Gerry Peñalosa. "I'm a fan of boxing and it has been my life. I want to be a part of the search for the next boxing superstar. If I get to contribute in my own little way, then I'll be happy."
Peñalosa admitted the search for the best youngsters in the division was not easy, saying they needed to overcome a lot of logistical issues to find the right talent.
"We looked for high-quality boxers from Manila, Cebu, and Davao. I was in awe of the talent that was available. I feel that they just need a little bit of guidance and exposure to be able to hone their skills," Peñalosa said. "Senator Manny Pacquiao and I have the same motivation. Grassroots development is the key to the future of boxing. We'll start looking for the best young fighters and help them starting from that stage."
According to Peñalosa, the top eight fighters in both divisions will fight in a knockout format with the other four fighters acting as reserves in case of cuts and other injuries.
"We're looking for future champions," said the former boxing champion. "We looked at their records and looked at their past fights. We went to their provinces to see them up close through sparring. We wanted the fighters to have at least three fights and not more than 10 fights. We have guys joining from the Philippine amateur team so the quality is really high."
"We're not just expecting slam-bang boxing action but true to the ESPN5 DNA, we're going to feature the lives of the boxers, look into their backgrounds," said TV5 President Vincent "Chot" Reyes. "What we watch in sports in the finished product. We don't often see what happens behind the scenes. That's what we'll try to capture and show our viewers. We want to show the people how difficult the life of a boxer is. Our goal is to share the journey of the Filipino athletes."
Reyes, said they sent out invitations far and wide to try and involve as many stakeholders as possible.
"What I liked about the format is that we opened it to everybody. We invited all promoters, all stables. True enough, the invitation was extended. Some were able to join, some had their reasons not to but we're happy with the turnout," Reyes said. "I was very happy to know that we were able to get a wide variety of promoters and stables in the program."
The two key figures of the Ultimate Boxing Series said that the boxers will be properly compensated for joining the tournament.
"We set aside a prize pool. Everyone will get something and obviously it will go up as they progress in the tournament," Reyes said.
"I was also a boxer so I know what it's like to be a young fighter trying to make a living," added Peñalosa. "We have contracts with everyone. I'll make sure that they will be well compensated. From their last fights, maybe they'll get times four or times five of that. If they get to the finals, maybe they'll get ten times more than what they got in their last fight."
"The Filipino boxing scene has never been this exciting," said Reyes. "The search for the next dominant Pinoy boxer can come from anywhere and bring something new to the table - a new stable, a new boxing style, a new motivation. We are proud to be a pivotal part of this, and to share Gerry Peñalosa's vision in his search for the next 'Fearless' Pinoy fighter."
1 - Ronel Sumalpong (Bebot Elorde Stable) vs Ruben Dadivas (MP Davao Boxing)
2 - Joseph Bayubay (Alchemist Multimedia) vs Christopher Furog (Kaamino Stable)
3 - Ian Refuela (Phil-Aust Stable) vs Welben Montere (Don Punch Boxing)
4 - April Jay Abne (Wild Boxing Gym) vs Ronel Dela Cruz (Kaamino Stable)
Swing Bout - Denmark Quibido (ATA) vs Rey Tagulaylay (MP Davao Boxing)
1 - Lienard Sarcon (MP Davao Boxing) vs Rimon Rama (Phil-Aust Stable)
2 - Dave Barlas (Bigwas Heneral Boxing Camp) vs Aljum Pelesio (Luis Marty Elorde Boxing)
3 - Lenjun Retuerto (EG Survival Boxing Camp) vs Gary Tamayo (Alchemist Multimedia)
4 - John Mark Tihuk (Peñalosa Boxing Stable) vs Luid Evander Borje (Hardstone Monis Boxing)
Swing Bout - Ken Jordan (MP Highland Boxing) vs Kevin Aseniero (ATA)