by Ronnie Nathanielsz
Former Oriental and Pacific Boxing Federation super featherweight champion Allan Tanada makes his US debut on Friday at the Mandalay Bay Resort Hotel and Casino in a Top Rank fight card on the eve of Manny Pacquiao’s trilogy with Juan Manuel Marquez at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
The card will be headlined by undefeated lightweight Mercito Gesta (23-0-1, 12 KO's) , the San Diego based southpaw who moves up a notch to face former two-time world title challenger Ricardo Dominguez (34-7-2, 21 KO's)of Mexico .
The 19 year old Tanada whose original appearance in the US had to be postponed after he was discovered to be suffering from a cataract in his left eye has been training hard at the Wild Card Gym of Freddie Roach under the supervision of former Philippine and OPBF champion Fernando Montilla.
Tanada who has a record of 10-1-2 with 5 knockouts faces Aalan Martinez, a 28 year old southpaw from Mexico with a record of 9-1-1 with 5 knockouts. Martinez is coming off a six round unanimous decision loss to Russia’s undeferated Evgeny Gradovic last April 29.
Tanada who won the OPBF title with a 3rd round knockout of Japan’s Rikiya Fukuhara lost the crown on his first defense against KO specialist Masao Nakamura (11-0, 11 KO’s) by a 5th round TKO on December 5, 2010.
Tanada dropped the undefeated Japanese but couldn't finish him off and Nakamura came back to deck Tanada and eventually win by a TKO.
Tanada who is handled by Rommel Nazario of the “In This Corner” Gym will be returning to the ring after a more than eleven month layoff but according to well-known TV boxing analyst Moy Lainez, Tanada “is in good condition because he was there (at the Wild Card) together with Pacquiao and was able to train well. He will give a good performance.”