WORLD champion-turned-boxing promoter Gerry Peñalosa will try to test his prized fighter, former amateur standout Criztian Pitt Laurente—if he’s the real deal—by pitting him against what should be his toughest opponent to date, one-time world title challenger Ernesto Saulong.
“This will be his acid test. So that we’ll know if he’s for real,” Peñalosa, a two-division world champion, told SunStar Cebu.
The Laurente vs. Saulong fight will be the main event of Peñalosa’s GerryPens Promotions’ first “bubble” boxing show in 2021, which will be held in a closed-doors event at the Peñalosa Boxing Gym in Parañaque City. The date, however, will depend on the quarantine status of Metro Manila.
“We’ll wait for Manila to be under MGCQ (Modified General Community Quarantine),” said Peñalosa, who finished his carrer with a 55-8-2 slate along with 37 knockout victories.
Metro Manila will remain under GCQ (General Community Quarantine) for the rest of February. It could either be elevated to MGCQ or remain under GCQ next month, depending on the gravity of Covid-19 cases this month.
The 21-year-old Laurente, a native of Gen. Santos City, represented the Philippines in the AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships, wherein he took home a bronze medal in 2018. He also competed in Asian Junior Boxing Championships, Children of Asia International Games and the Asian Youth Boxing Championships.
Laurente transitioned to the pro ranks in 2019, in which he scored an easy first round stoppage of Rey John Indita. He followed it up with three more wins in 2019 before beating veteran Boyce Sultan by unanimous decision in 2020. He was supposed to fight Renan Portes in Gen. Santos City on Nov. 28, 2020 but the fight didn’t push through.
Saulong should be Laurete’s stiffest test because of impressive credentials. The 31-year-old Saulong is a former World Boxing Council (WBC) International bantamweight titleholder. He beat Alie Laurel twice and fought but lost to Ryosuke Iwasa by unanimous decision in an International Boxing Federation (IBF) super bantamweight title fight.
Saulong, however, dropped his last two contests, a technical decision in his trilogy with Laurel and a unanimous decision defeat in the hands of Brock Jarvis.
Laurente is 5-0 with three knockouts, while Saulong is 22-6-2 with nine knockouts.
Peñalosa also said that he’s working on putting promising unbeaten bantamweight prospect Carl Jammes Martin on the same card.