By Dennis 'dSource' Guillermo
On September 23, two of the Philippines' best pugilists head on a collision course to test their mettle against each other at the Makati Coliseum. Drian "Golden Fists" Francisco and Michael "Bruce Lee" Domingo are ready to prove that Filipinos testing each other against themselves is far better than bringing over bums disguised as foreigners with good records.
These are grown men with skills. We're not talking about prospects, young rising stars or washed-up former champions here; these are two mature warriors who are on the cusp of contending for a world title, and simply need a break.
Well.. they may have to clip each other's wings to get there.
"I think we should've been way past that idea a long time ago. I think the best way to measure a Filipino is against a Filipino as well. The way I describe it is 'iron sharpening against iron'; which is the best way to measure the potential of our fighter. If we go to that fight between Francisco and Domingo, two fighters, who to me have relative skills," boxing analyst Chino Trinidad told me recently here in Manila.
This marks a significant step in the right direction for Philippine boxing. Why bother bring in overmatched opponents from overseas just for the sake of hyping an event, when we got an abundance of talent to keep things in-house, or send our prospects to Mexico and other countries, only to be fed to their lions in exchange for pocket change?
Let the best test themselves here, and earn their way out in order for them to be truly ready for the big stage.
This is an event that warrants the support of Filipino boxing fans, more so now that the fight will be free to the public. I'm personally excited to sit ringside to cover this fight. Two hungry Filipinos going at it, is always a recipe for an epic showdown.
"The deciding factor for me in this fight, would be who wants to continue with his career more," Trinidad added. "Coming from a loss, does Drian Francisco have anything left in him? Domingo is also at the tail-end of his career. Who wants to continue boxing at the big stage more? That's what it's going to come down to: Who has more hunger to continue their boxing career."
Philboxing scribe Chito Katangkatang is liking Domingo's chances in this match-up. "I think Michael Domingo will have the edge over Drian Francisco. Domingo is more technical and more aggressive. And I think the style of Francisco is too awkward. If he doesn't change his style, he will have a hard time against Domingo," said one of Bacolod's sharpest boxing observers. "Francisco has a tendency to leave his body open. If Domingo catches him, he'll be in for some trouble."