By Ronnie Nathanielsz
Well known and popular boxing promoter and host of the television boxing show KO Boxing, Peter Maniatis, continues to receive more honors in Australia.
Maniatis who is a fairly regular visitor to the Philippines and has interviewed pound-for-pound king and “Fighter of the Decade” Manny Pacquiao, former IBF light flyweight champion Brian Viloria and WBA super flyweight interim champion Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire has been voted “The Most Valuable Person” in boxing in the state of Victoria for 2009.
Maniatis received the award from Boxing Board official Damian Membrey during a fight card promoted by Maniatis at the Box Hill Stadium.
Maniatis who will arrive from Australia on Thursday said he had promoted four major boxing events so far this year and done 25 “live” TV KO Boxing shows. He recently interviewed WBC/WBA super flyweight champion and IBO bantamweight champion Vic Darchinyan as well as Danny Green and Anthony Mundine and former Australian great Jeff Fenech on the Channel 31 KO Boxing Show.
The last big name guest of Maniatis was legendary comedian Jerry Lewis who spoke about his friendship with undefeated heavyweight champion Rocky Marciano and “The Greatest” - Muhammad Ali.
Maniatis said he plans on doing an interview with Donaire who is also scheduled to arrive in Manila on Thursday for a month-long visit.
The respected Australian promoter who is a good friend of international referee Bruce McTavish and Pacquiao’s first trainer . American Rick Stehely who led him to the WBC flyweight championship in December 1998 in Thailand, said he plans “ to attend as many boxing shows as possible because l would like to sign a Filipino boxer to promote in Australia as a future world champion.”
Maniatis said he would grant the boxers he chooses with Australian residency as a sponsor and house them, provide all the necessary amenities and make sure they train at the best possible gyms and get a chance to fight on all his promotions.
The promoter also disclosed that he had spoken with the camp of Fil-Aussie prospect Heath Ellis after his stunning knockout loss to hard-hitting Steven Maxwell and said there are plan for Ellis who recently turned 22 to move up in weight and fight as a junior middleweight. Maniatis said he planned a comeback fight for Ellis early next year.