By Carlos Costa
Celebrating his 20th birthday on Wednesday, undefeated Filipino super featherweight Harmonito Dela Torre keeps on sweating and working out hard in pursuit of his dream of becoming a future star in the sport of boxing, so his non-title battle against Indonesian Yakobus Heluka of Suru Suru West Papua this Saturday (Feb 22) at the 15,000-seat Cotai Arena of the plush Venetian Resort in Macau is a golden chance to showcase the kid's real potential.
The Harmonito Dela Torre vs Yakobus Heluka clash is one of the undercards of this Saturday's Top Rank's card at the Cotai Arena in Macau headlined by the 6th defense of Mexico's IBF Lightweight World Champion Miguel "Títere" Vásquez (33-3, 13 KO's) against undefeated Russian challenger Denis Shafikov (33-0-1, 18 KO's)
Born in the City of Golden Friendship, Cagayan de Oro, and owner of youth, speed and power, the unbeaten Filipino Harmolito Dela Torre (11-0, 6 KO's) lands into this new challenge from a round three knockout victory over Indonesian 29-fight veteran Jason Butar Butar in one of the undercards of the Pacquiao-Rios welterweight fight last November 24 in Macau.
In that last success in Macau, the 5' 8" Filipino Super Featherweight (PBF) Champion Harmonito Dela Torre, aka "El Huracán de Gensan" impressed well. But Harmonito and his experienced Gensan team wants much more.
"THAT FIGHTER IS WILLING TO DESTROY MY BOXER"
For that, the youngster has been training full throttle, bearing in mind that scoring a spectacular win in a high-profile international Top Rank event will no-doubt catapult forward his career. That is why his handler talks about how good those endless sweating sessions have been:
"Training is most important. Bases for success in boxing are in proper training. So for this Saturday's fight against Indonesian Heluka, Harmolito has prepared so well," said Gensan's Jim Claude Manangquil, the manager of Harmonito.
"When the bell sounds, Heluka will come at Harmonito with bad intentions.... willing to destroy my boxer. It will be dangerous in the ring as Indonesians are big-heart boxers, real warriors. But Harmolito has gone through top notch training at my boxing facility, the JM Gym in Gensan. So I am confident that Harmonito will be the one to crush and pulverize his opponent.
"Indeed, training went excellent under the supervision of head coach Renie Gabawa, who has been preparing Harmonito and knows him well. So we are positive.
"I share more: during camp, which lasted eight full weeks, Harmonito worked on his physical conditioning as well as on the improvement of his fighting technique and skills. For that job, his main sparring-partner was 22-year-old featherweight Ernie Sanchez (who was supposed to fight Top Rank's Diego Magdaleno last Saturday, but the fight was canceled)," shared the experienced manager Jim Claude Manangquil.
IF WIN IS IMPRESSIVE, PACQUIAO WOULD HELP
Furthermore, If Harmonito emerges victorious, — as his team expects — then his promoters at Sanman Promotions (a Gensan-based boxing promotion company owned by Jim Claude Manangquil, John Ray Manangquil and Dexter Tan), aims at continuing the development of Harmonito's fighting career by putting him against tougher opposition in international venues to generate exposure and gain valuable experience.
"Sure. If this Saturday Harmonito wins by knockout in the early rounds, then there is a big chance that we will bring him to Australia for a fight in a Victoria card against 26-year-old Andy Letding by end of March. This is an option.
But, there is another thrilling possibility, Manangquil shared:
"Our boxing hero Manny Pacquiao has said to us that if Harmonito wins impressively, he'd recommend Harmonito for a good fight in the undercard of his coming world title fight against world champion Timothy Bradley on April 12 at the MGM Grand in Last Vegas. That is a great chance, no doubt. It all depends on Harmolito's performance this Saturday."
So the final question is: Will the 20-year-old Filipino Harmolito Dela Torre score a really impressive win (as his team and Pacquiao wish) to spice up his successful beginning in pro boxing . . . or will the tough 28-year-old Indonesian warrior spoil the birthday celebration of Harmonito and derail the good plans in place for the young Filipino?
We will find out soon enough.