By Dennis Principe

World title challenger Carlos Buitrago of Nicaragua is getting the best possible support he can get from his country.


No less than Nicaraguan president Daniel Ortega is serving as Buitrago’s main supporter as the longtime leader once gave the undefeated challenger a huge welcome party after scoring a big victory in Mexico.


“Whenever I fight he calls me and gives me a lot of encouragement. He promised me a lot of support when I win the championship,” said Buitrago through interpreter Wilfredo Rivera.


The undefeated 21-year-old Buitrago will aim for the World Boxing Organization (WBO) minimumweight belt currently being held by Filipino champion Merlito “Tiger” Sabillo.


Buitrago’s title challenge opposite Sabillo will be one of two championships in one card dubbed Pinoy Pride 23: Filipinos kontra Latinos set Saturday night at the famed Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City, Philippines.


Buitrago also had the privilege of having Nicaraguan superstar Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez as one of his sparring partners.


Gonzalez, the former World Boxing Association (WBA) 108lb title holder who remains undefeated in 37 fights, 31 by stoppages, has now moved up in weight and is aiming for a world title in the tough flyweight division.


“Half of my sparring sessions were against him (Gonzalez). He’s the superstar in Nicaragua,” said Buitrago who will be getting his first world title shot.


Buitrago’s biggest wins which happened about two years ago were against former world champion Carlos Melo of Panama and one-time world title challenger Eddy Castro who also hails from Nicaragua.


The co-main event of this card will feature WBO lightflyweight champion Donnie Nietes who will stake his crown against another former world title challenger in Sammy Guttierez of Mexico.