Vincent "Popeye" Palicte (14-3-1, 7 KOs) and Frederix Rodriguez (8-2-1, 6 KOs) are all set to fight on August 11 for the WBO Asia Pacific interim-bantamweight championship. This title is currently held by world No. 1 AJ “Bazooka” Banal of the famed ALA Boxing Gym of Cebu City. However, on the eve of Banal’s inevitable battle for the world crown within this year, Palicte and Rodriguez are raring to grab the title soon to be vacated by Bazooka.
Palicte, born in the boxing-rich Bago City in Negros Occidental, was at one time an amateur national boxing champion and was at one point in time one win away to qualify for the Olympic Games. As a professional fighter, he won the vacant WBC International title on September 12, 2009 at the San Andres Sports Complex outpointing Carlo Magale. He lost that title in his first defense three months later, in a fight held at the backyard of his challenger, Carmelo Ballone of Belgium.
Palicte, who is 26 years old, is nicknamed “Popeye”. He had two fights this year beating Ryan Soliveres by 4th round knockout in a scheduled ten round bout on March 11 at Mandaluyong City and scoring another big KO win over Ricky Oyan last May 11 at the northernmost place in the Philippines called Aparri.
Rodriguez, 24, has won all of his first seven fights, five of which were big knockouts in either the first or the second round. In his most recent fight, Rodriguez blasted away John Paul Apolinario in the very first round on his way to another KO victory in the opening round. That fight was held in Bukidnon only last April 28 this year.
At stake for this fight is not only the WBO Asia Pacific title but a sure place at the WBO world rankings. Hence, both fighters are expected to give it their all for the shining incentives.
The supporting bouts in this fight card are stacked with young prospects trying to carve their own name in the Philippine boxing scene. Of the 14 fights scheduled, no less than 8 undefeated fighters will risk their pristine records.
Reigning Philippine 140-lb. champ Adones Cabalquinto (12-0-0, 8 KOs) will fight Jaypee Ignacio. Jerwin Ancajas (13-1-1, 5 KOs) will exchange leathers with John Mark Bautista (10-6-1, 4 KOs) in a 10-round super flyweight match. Undefeated Aston Palicte (9-0-0, 7 KOs), Vincent’s younger brother will be tested by Mark Joseph Costa (4-5-2, 1 KO), the latter being the last opponent of the late Karlo Maquinto.
A special attraction will be the fight between one the Philippines’ best young prospects in Joebert Alvarez (10-0-0, 4 KOs) against the hardened veteran in Nelson Llanos. Alvarez is best remembered as the Best Fighter in the boxing reality show “Buhay Boksingero” offered by giant TV network GMA-7.
The fight card is promoted by Joven Sports Promotions owned by the young and hard working Joven Jimenez. Aside from being a promoter himself, Jimenez also juggles his activities in boxing as a manager and trainer at the Top Contender Boxing Gym based in Muntinlupa City. Jimenez is the same person who manages WBO rated No. 2 and IBF rated No. 3 Froilan “The Sniper” Saludar who is undefeated in 16 fights with 11 big wins by knockout.
This boxing event will be covered by GMA TV Network for its top-rated sports show “ALL SPORTS” telecast Sundays at 9:30 a.m. over GMA News TV 11.
Surprisingly, the 14-fight show which exposes so much talented boxers from all over the Philippines will be offered free to the public.
For those boxing aficionados who want to watch the fights at close range and enjoy the action, limited ringside seats are available at a minimal fee.