By Ronnie Nathanielsz
World rated Oriental Pacific Boxing Federation flyweight champion Rocky "The Road Warrior" Fuentes is determined to win the vacant International Boxing Federation (IBF) flyweight title when he battles former Thai Olympian Amnat Ruenroeng in Nakhon Ratchasima in Thailand on Wednesday.
Highly rated by all the major boxing bodies in the world, Fuentes got the big break he has longed for after his scheduled title eliminator against Puerto Rico's Olympic
boxer McWilliams Arroyo was cancelled and champion Moruti Mthalane of South Africa decided to relinquish his title rather than fight in Thailand for a small purse.
ALA Promotions president Michael Aldeguer told the BoxingScene.com/Manila Standard that "we got an offer from a promoter in Thailand after Mthalane vacated the title and it was open. We thought this is Rocky's chance. He has waited for this for years and we believe he has a big chance of winning the fight."
Aldeguer said "it cant get better than this. Rocky has been there for a long time. He has had several fights in Japan so there is no way we could turn this down because the Puerto Rico fight was in limbo. We believe this is the right thing to do."
While he is aware of the usual problems of fighting especially for a world title in Thailand, Aldeguer realizes that Fuentes "has to understand he is not just fighting a Thailander, he is also fighting the crowd, the venue, fighting everything. He knows that. The good thing is Rocky has been fighting in Japan and while Thailand may be different but he is matured right now and I think this is the right chance for him to become a world champion.
The former Olympian Ruenroeng is 34 years old and is undefeated with a record of 11-0 with 5 knockouts and in his last fight scored a 4th round TKO over Japan's Takuro Habu on August 16, 2013 after winning the IBF Pan Pacific title with a shutout twelve round decision over Filipino Julius Alcos on April 19, 2013.
The 27 year old Fuentes has a record 35-6-2 with 20 knockouts and has successfully defended his OPBF title six times.
ALA Promotions vice president Dennis Canete told the Standard that Fuentes was ready both physically and mentally and was in fine shape.
He said both Fuentes and Ruenroeng tipped the scales at the exact 112 pound limit and that former bantamweight world contender Michael Domingo and trainer Edmund Villamor who will work the corner of Fuentes are confident the country will have another world champion on Wednesday.