LAS VEGAS – Manny Pacquiao isn’t the only fighter who will carry the Philippine colours on Saturday (January 19).
Four Filipino sluggers will also enter the ring at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in their own quests for boxing glory.
One of them is WBA interim-featherweight champion Jhack Tepora. The pride of Cebu will defend his crown against former world champion Hugo Ruiz of Sinaloa, Mexico.
Tepora previously dethroned former champion Edivaldo Ortega of Mexico with a 9th-round technical knockout at the Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in 2018.
“I didn’t expect the win but I really trained hard for this fight for three long months,” Tepora said in a report following his victory over Ortega.
Tepora cited boxing icon Pacquiao as his inspiration. “This is more than a dream come true,” said Tepora.
“When I saw Manny’s story, coming from the streets, I thought one day I could be like that and this is the first step to that dream,” Tepora said.
Tepora’s match will be one of the featured bouts of the Showtime pay-per-view presentation at MGM Grand Garden Arena.
The unbeated Tepora holds a 22-0 record, with 17 Kos.
In addition to Tepora, the three other boxers seeing action are Rey Perez, JayAr Inson, and Genesis Libranza.
Perez, Inson, and Libranza will be part of the non-televised undercards.
Perez, who hails from Sta. Rosa City, faces George Kambosos Jr, who is from Australia and Pacquiao’s main sparring partner in his preparations for Broner.
Perez has a 24-10 record with 8 KOs.
Inson will go against Jonathan Steele of Dallas, Texas. Inson is a southpaw from Davao City.
Inson sticks out in any boxing gym in the Philippines because of his height. He stands 5 feet 10 inches.
“It motivates me when I see what [Pacquiao] does in training camp,” Inson said in a previous media report.
Inson has a record of 18-1 with 12 KOs.
Libranza hails from Davao City. He will fight Carlos Buitrago of Nicaragua.
Libranza holds a record of 17-1 with 10 Kos.
The Showtime pay per view will be headlined by Pacquiao, who will defend his WBA welterweight title against Adrien Broner, a former four-division world champion.
Also featured in the pay per view is former world champion Rau’shee Warren, who will take on Nordine Oubaali of France for the vacant WBC bantamweight world championship.
By Rey Fortaleza (with files from Julian-Ray Fortaleza, Mario ‘Bro. Marv’ Hernandez, and Christian Cunanan)