Former allies Apolinar, Waminal now rivals, fight for OPBF strap

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FORMER teammates and sparring partners Pete Apolinar and Jess Rhey Waminal will set their friendship aside Saturday night, July 3, 2021, as they fight for the vacant Oriental and Pacific Boxing Federation (OPBF) Silver featherweight crown in the main event of Omega Sports Promotions’ “Kumbati 10” show at the IPI Complex in Mandaue City, Cebu.

“We are ready. He will outbox Waminal,” Omega Gym head coach Jinggoy Junco told SunStar Cebu. “We won’t be looking for a knockout but if the timing is right it will come.”

Apolinar and Waminal were once teammates at the now-defunct ALA Boxing Gym. They were sparring partners and are even friends. However, on top of the ring, they won’t be friends but rivals that are in each other’s way.

“I’m used to being the visiting fighter. Pete and I are friends. He’s my former teammate at the ALA Gym. But a fight is a fight. We are friends outside the ring but inside the ring we are enemies. After the fight our friendship is still there,” said Waminal, who now fights out of Cagayan de Oro.

Waminal tipped the scales at 125.5 pounds, while Apolinar weighed-in at 125.8 pounds.

Apolinar is 14-1 with eight knockouts, while Waminal is 14-3-1 with eight knockouts.

The winner will most likely break into the World Boxing Council (WBC) featherweight rankings, wherein Gary Russell Jr. is the current world champion.

On the other hand, world-rated Mark Vicelles (13-0-1, 7 KOs) takes on fellow unbeaten Jerven Mama (12-0-1, 7 KOs) in a very important 10-round co-main event.

Vicelles’ lofty world ranking is on the line against an equally talented Mama. Vicelles is currently rated No. 6 by the WBC, No. 8 by the World Boxing Organization (WBO) and No. 12 by the International Boxing Federation.

In the undercard, hard-hitting Tomjune Mangubat (13-2-1, 11 KOs) trades leathers with veteran Ernie Sanchez (19-15-1, 10 KOs), Regie Suganob (6-0, 2 KOs) squares off with MJ Bo (8-4-2, 4 KOs), Benny Cañete (2-0, 1 KO) exchanges blows with fellow undefeated Jimpol Dignos (2-0, 1 KO), Rodel Suganob (2-0-1) locks horns with Mark Jequinto (4-6-1) and Franco Serafica (5-1, 3 KOs) squares off with Jeffrey Stella (4-10-3, 4 KOs).