WORLD-ranked Mark Vicelles finally gets his first taste of action in over a year as he headlines the country’s first pro boxing event since the outbreak of Covid-19.
Vicelles attempts to shake off the ring rust against Junuel Lacar in a 10-rounder in the main Omega Pro Sports International’s Kumbati 5 at the IPI Complex in Mandaue City, Cebu on Oct. 7.
“This will be a tune-up fight for Mark. As you can see, we had a hard time looking for a quality opponent because of the pandemic. I think he’s ready in three to five fights. Mark is still young. We don’t need to rush him. We must gain more experience. But if there is an offer for a world championship, then we will gladly accept it,” Omega Boxing Gym head coach Jinggoy Junco told SunStar Cebu.
The 24-year-old Vicelles is rated No. 10 in the World Boxing Council (WBC) light flyweight division, wherein Japanese star Kenshiro Teraji is number one. He’s also ranked No. 13 in the World Boxing Organization (WBO), in which Elwin Soto holds the belt.
“Mark still needs more experience but if he’ll be offered a world championship then that would be good experience for him. If we have the right preparation then we’ll give the world champions in the division some problems,” said Junco.
Vicelles last saw action on July 6, 2019. He beat fellow world-ranked Jesse Espinas via majority decision in Liloan, Cebu.
The 27-year-old Lacar, on the other hand, bounced back from a four-fight losing slump with a fourth round technical knockout of Romeo Tenorio in Quezon to win the vacant Luzproba flyweight belt.
Vicelles is 11-0-1 with five knockouts, while Lacar is 8-5-3 with six knockouts.
Meanwhile, hard-hitting Pete Apolinar (11-1, 8 KOs) trades leathers with former world title challenger Jetro Pabustan (30-7-6, 9 KOs).
Apolinar, who sparred with Japanese superstar Naoya Inoue early this year, should face the stiffest test of his career against Pabustan.
The 30-year-old Pabustan has wins over former Omega fighters Kenny Demecillo and Vergilio Silvano. He also challenged then WBO bantamweight champion Pungluang Sor Singyu and lost via a technical decision.
In the undercard, International Boxing Federation (IBF) No. 9 light flyweight Christian Araneta (17-1, 14 KOs) is up against veteran Richard Rosales (14-12-2, 8 KOs) and unbeaten Carlo Bacaro (5-0, 4 KOs) squares off with Jeffrey Stella (4-10-3, 4 KOs).
The boxing event is under a controlled environment, wherein there will be no audience, and all officials and boxers underwent Covid-19 testing. The fight will be uploaded after a few days via the Omega Boxing Facebook page.