by Ronnie Nathanielsz
The giant broadcast network ABS-CBN and the premier promotional outfit in Asia, ALA Promotions, have signed a ten-year partnership agreement to further strengthen the expansion in the promotions and broadcast of boxing both in the country and internationally.
Among those present at the signing early Friday morning at ABS-CBN was the network’s driving force Gabby Lopez, vice president for sports Peter Musngi, ALA Promotions president Michael Aldeguer and the respected organizations patron, Tony Aldeguer.
Musngi told BoxingScene.com/Manila Standard they have been working on the agreement for the past two years following the resounding success of its “Pinoy Pride” series which will continue at the plush Solaire Resort and Casino in the Entertainment City along Manila Bay on July 13 when WBO minimumweight champion Merlito “Tiger” Sabillo makes the first defense of his title against Colombia’s Jorlie Estrada.
Following the signing Michael Aldeguer and ALA Promotions vice president Dennis Canete left for the Ninoy Aquino International Airport to catch a flight to Dubai, hopefully to be able to watch WBC silver champion Denver Cuello’s mandatory title fight against champion Xiong Zhao Zhong of China which will be held at the World Trade Center in Dubai around 10:00 p.m. which would be 2:00 a.m. Saturday in Manila.
However., the primary reason for the visit to Dubai by Aldeguer and Canete is to meet with executives of The Filipino Channel to discuss the planned staging of a possible world title defense by Donnie Nietes sometime in September.
The major influence of TFC in the Middle East and its huge following are expected to enhance the expansion program of ABS-CBN’s international fight coverages which will take another major step forward with the telecast of undefeated mandatory flyweight challenger Milan Melindo’s title fight against Juan Francisco Estrada who won the title in an upset twelve round decision over former WBO/WBA champion Brian Viloria, at the sprawling Cotai Arena of the Venetian Resort Hotel and Casino in Macau.