Limpag: Boxing in Cebu

Mike T. Limpag

THERE was a time that there seemed to be a major card in Cebu City every few months, with ALA Promotions and Omega Boxing alternating big cards.

However, this year there has been any and the once vaunted Pinoy Pride boxing series of ALA Boxing and ABS CBN sports has been in a long hiatus.

Will 2020 be any different? This year, boxing--especially in the US--has changed dramatically with HBO no longer in the pay-per-view business. DAZN took over, with a streaming services but there was some major hullaballoo when there was a huge gap between fights because DAZN waited for another event to get finished.

Is that the same case for boxing in the Philippines? Is a live broadcast on TV no longer a viable business model? Is that why we haven’t seen another episode of Pinoy Pride?

That’s a sad scenario if that’s true, we still have a lot of promising boxers. Donnie Nietes, who for years, carried the Pinoy Pride franchise on many title defense haven’t fought in over a year.

I hope his and Pinoy Pride’s hiatus end soon.

Omega Boxing lost some of its biggest name, Jhack Tepora among them, but I’m still hoping another Cebu-based outfit can get to put up a major boxing card anew.

The glory days of Cebu boxing was when Pinoy Pride would regularly fill the Waterfront Hotel and Casino with fans with world title fights.

Imagine, that was the common scene in Cebu boxing when, just eight or 10 years prior, a title fight for a Philippine belt or even an OPBF belt was a big thing. I remember an OPBF fight involving then gentle giant Rev Santillan at the Waterfront Hotel and Casino the biggest thing to hit Cebu boxing in years.

But at Cebu boxing’s peak, an OPBF fight just serves as a minor bout in the undercard. That’s how much the sport has improved at the peak of the partnership of ALA Promotions and ABS CBN.

Will that happen again in 2020? I hope so.

Wouldn’t it be great to see Donnie Nietes fight at home again?

But I guess, it’s understandable that ABS CBN is shying away from boxing these past few years considering the status of its franchise renewal. I guess, it wouldn’t be prudent to make long term plans with such a sword hanging over its head.

Anyway, I hope there’s a surge in Cebu boxing in 2020.