by Ronnie Nathanielsz
Rey ' Boom Boom' Bautista faces a tough fight when he defends his WBC International featherweight title against Mexico’s Jose 'Negro' Ramirez in the main event of Pinoy Pride XIX on April 20 at the University of Southeastern Philippines Gym in Davao City.
It will be the first venture of ALA Promotions and partner ABS-CBN in Davao having staged most of their fights in the tremendously successful series in Cebu City or occasionally in Manila.
It will also mark the first major fight card in the bustling southern city since Manny Pacquiao scored a sensational 1st round knockout over No.1 contender Fahprakorb Rakkiatygym in his defense of the IBF super bantamweight title on October 26, 2002.
The 25 year old Ramirez who has a record of 24-3 with 15 knockouts is coming off an eighth round unanimous decision over Sergio Lopez last December 14.
Bautista who has a record of 34-2 with 25 knockouts will be making the first defense of his WBO International featherweight title which he won by a close twelve round split decision over Daniel Ruiz last October.
Although Ramirez has never fought outside of Mexico he is not awed by the fact of having to travel to the Philippines to face Bautista who is himself looking to put on an impressive performance and hopefully earn a rematch against world champion Daniel Ponce De Leon at whose hands he suffered a crushing 1st round knockout in August 2007 in Sacramento California in the Philippines vs Mexico World Cup of Boxing which the Filipinos won 5-1.
The heavily tatooed Ramirez is considered a heavy puncher and his 15 knockouts indicate the Mexican has power.
But Bautista, one of the most charismatic and entertaining fighters in the ALA Promotions stable is a hard-nosed fighter who is always prepared to engage to the delight of the fans.
The co main event is another matchup in the storied Philippine-Mexico rivalry with Oriental and Pacific Boxing Federation and world rated Rocky 'The Road Warrior' Fuentes clashing with WBC World Youth flyweight champion Juan “Loquito” Kantun.
Fuentes who has won his last 14 fights has a record of 34-6-2 with 20 knockouts while Kantun has a record of 20-3-3 with 15 knockouts.
Fuentes won the OPBF title with a twelve round majority decision over Japan’s Masafumi Okuba on March 9, 2010 while Kantun won his world Youth crown with a twelve round unanimous decision over Humberto Morales on December 6, 2012.