By Carlos Costa
PANAMA CITY, Panama - Many talented fighters in the history of boxing, even some awesome warriors, never get the golden chance of battling for a world title. There are reasons for that. It could be lack of luck, or the absence of a manager with power connections. Those are not problems for “The Iceman” John Mark Apolinario of Sarangani, who, regardless of being relatively unknown to boxing fans (even in his own country of the Philippines), will have the privilege of fighting for a world title for a second time in a span of just four months.
If Apolinario’s promoter, the well-regarded Filipino manager Sammy G. Gello-Ani of SGG Sports Promotions of Cebu, has his way, the 23-year-old “Iceman” will again face veteran former 2-division world champion Roberto “La Araña” Vásquez of Panamá for the vacant WBA bantamweight interim crown on Saturday March 16 at the plush newly built Megápolis Convention Center of the Hard Rock Hotel Panama.
This far, all green lights indicate that Apolinario will have his second date with destiny in Panama, the land of legendary fighter “Hands of Stone” Roberto Durán.
In addition, the WBA championships committee has already expressed that the Vásquez-Apolinario2 on March 16 would be approved without a problem:
“The contracts are yet to arrive at the WBA. But we’ve already received informal notification that the fight has been agreed upon on that date (March 16), and we see no obstacle to its approval,” said Gilberto de Jesús Mendoza today from the WBA head office, located at the Ocean Business Plaza here in Ciudad de Panamá.
It will be the second exchange of knuckles between the young Filipino and the veteran Panamanian.
In their first world title skirmish, Apolinario, 23, and Vásquez, 29, drew after their uneventful 12-round rumble in November of last year in Colón, Argentina, and “La Araña” (The Spider) has already written in his twitter account that in their second bout things will be different:
“I am already in full training for my next world title fight on March 16 here in Panamá #VasquezApolinario2. Do not miss it. #Third crown,” wrote La Araña Vásquez on his Twitter.
And ended his tweet saying: “This time, judges will not be needed.”
Vásquez-Apolinario 2 will be a production of Apolinario’s international promoter Sampson Lewkowicz of Sampson Boxing LLC in association with Sammy Gello-Ani of Cebu’s SGG Sports Promotions.
The exciting co-main event will feature the second defense of Filipino IBF world champion John Riel Casimero (also promoted by Gello-Ani and Lewkowicz), against mandatory challenger Luis Alberto “Pan Blanco” Ríos of Panama.