CEBU CITY – Cebu-based ALA Promotions will hold its first ever boxing event in the United States dubbed as Pinoy Pride 33: “Filipinos Contra Latinos,” on Oct. 17 at the 8,000-seater StubHub Center in Carson, California.
“This is something that we have always planned for in the past years. We felt that something had to happen,” said ALA Promotions president Michael Aldeguer.
Five years ago, ALA Promotions expressed the company’s desire to go global with its ultimate goal of promoting an event in the US.
After years of preparation, Aldeguer said this has finally come to fruition.
ALA Promotions along with ABS-CBN have so far staged two events in Dubai.
Those shows, however, are nowhere near as difficult to put up as the upcoming show in the US, which took them several years.
“It was difficult. The most difficult event to put up. For one, getting a US license was painstaking. It took us close to five years working on it,” said Aldeguer.
Pinoy Pride 33 is headlined by a World Boxing Organization (WBO) light flyweight title defense of the longest reigning Filipino world champion Donnie Nietes.
It also features some of the fast-rising young stars of ALA Promotions, namely, Albert Pagara, Mark Magsayo and Jason Pagara.
“I’m very happy because I’ve been given the opportunity to fight in the US and finally showcase my talent there,” said Nietes, who is coming off an impressive unanimous decision over mandatory challenger Francisco Rodriguez in Cebu City.
Though this is Nietes’s first fight on US soil, he is no stranger to fighting outside because he already owns three successful title defenses in Mexico.
But for young bucks like Albert, Jason and Magsayo, it’s a different story.
Although none of them have ever fought on a stage this huge in the US, they are all confident that they’ll show up to impress.
“I don’t feel any pressure at all. It doesn’t matter where I’m fighting as long as it’s on top of the ring. I would die fighting,” said unbeaten 22-year-old Albert.
Albert is coming off an easy first-round knockout of Jesus Rios two weeks ago in Dubai.
Albert’s older brother, 25-year-old Jason is also coming off a win in Dubai, a technical decision over Ramiro Alcaraz.
“I’m very excited. I’ll just think that I’m fighting in the Philippines,” he said.
Coming off a fifth-round technical knockout of Rafael Reyes in Cebu City, 20-year-old Magsayo treats this fight just like any other.
“That’s why it’s called boxing because it’s just the both of us fighting each other,” he said.
The 33-year-old Nietes is defending his crown against a fighter in the top 15 of the WBO ratings.
Albert, on the other hand, will be the main supporting bout fighter and will be slugging for the vacant WBO International super bantamweight crown.
Magsayo will defend his International Boxing Federation (IBF) Youth featherweight strap and Jason will be in an eight-round non-title bout.