VSG to build up Filipina fighters for bigger fights

Edri Aznar
·2 min read

WOMEN boxing in the Philippines is not that popular. Female boxers don’t get the same opportunity as men and rarely get fights in this boxing-mad country.

However, Aussie promoter Gary Connolly wants to give two Filipina fighters, Marnelle Verano and Carleans Rivas, the best opportunity and build them up for big fights internationally.

Rivas signed with VSG Promotions a few years back, while Verano just recently joined the team in June.

“This year, with the unpredictability of the sport and finances, probably no fights for them, but I think that will be the same with everyone. However, it is a good chance to work on her (Verano) profile and publicity, especially outside Asia. When travel restrictions are lifted in the Philippines, I will get her (Verano) and Chay (Rivas) to do some training together and also travel to places like Gensan to train at Sanman and Cebu to do some work with Brix (Flores),” Conolly told SunStar Cebu.

“Also as VSG is very proactive when it comes to gender equality and supporting women’s rights, we’ll get them to highlight these issues in the media. I see the rest of the year as a good chance to ease back into training plus at the same time help both her and Chay to make improvements. Depending on the circumstances with the virus, I’m hoping to have both girls fight early next year, then make plans from there. Ideally, I would like both girls in big international fights in late 2021,” Conolly said.

VSG Promotions gave Rivas a chance to fight for a world title on Feb. 8, 2020. She challenged International Boxing Federation Female minimumweight champion Yokasta Valle but lost via a sixth round stoppage in Costa Rica.

Meanwhile, Verano, who’s currently a frontliner in the Philippines’ fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, is on a long layoff. She last saw action in 2015 and won a unanimous decision over Sylvia Scharper for the vacant Women’s International Boxing Association super flyweight belt in Australia.

Conolly wants both Verano and Rivas to inspire more Filipinas to take up the sport and live their dreams.

“As Marnelle and Chay are great role models for young women as well as being world-class fighters, I’ll also see if we can organize for them to do some boxing exhibitions together in some major cities in the Philippines. This would be a great opportunity for the media to encourage young women to follow their dreams,” said Conolly.

Verano is 6-2-1 with two knockouts, while Rivas is 8-7-4.