By Ronnie Nathanielsz
The big boxing event which was to feature the comeback bid of popular Rey “Boom Boom” Bautista the one-time world title challenger, WBO minimum weight No.1 Milan Melindo, Philippine lightweight champion Jason Pagara and colorful “Bon Jovi’ Canillas has been postponed because of the non-appearance of Bobby Pacquiao in one of the featured fights on April 9.
BoxingScene.com, insidesports.ph, Standard Today and Viva Sports learned that Rex “Wakee” Salud and his matchmaker Willie Flores were unable to deliver on their promise to have the younger brother of pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao see action on the card.
We learned that Salud had raised the possibility of Bobby Pacquiao fighting on the card but that Manny indicated his brother had retired and wouldn’t fight and Manny himself couldn't even attend the fights, even on an all-expenses-paid trip, because of the hectic election campaign.
When we initially ran the story in several boxing sites the promoters were concerned and checked out the story only to learn that Bobby hadn’t even trained. Besides, Pacquiao’s adviser Michael Koncz told us Bobby was not going to fight for a purse of only $20,000.
The frantic promoter has decided to postpone the fight card to April 23 and hopefully sell the event to prospective sponsors who were initially made to believe that Bobby Pacquiao would be on the card and there was a good possibility that Manny Pacquiao himself would attend the fights.
The fights were to be telecast by the giant broadcast network ABS-CBN but vice president for Sports Peter Musgni informed that the coverage was cancelled.
However, respected boxing patron Tony Aldeguer of the ALA Gym informed us that he had told the promoters that his fighters would be prepared to do battle on April 23 but not on any date beyond that.
We also learned that the promoter had made advance payments as a sign of good faith and that airline tickets had also been purchased for the fighters.