ALA Boxing, one of the pillars of Philippine boxing, may have crumbled under the weight of the coronavirus pandemic, but it need not spell the doom of local prizefighting.
What many saw as a knockout could actually be just a flush blow, in the eyes of MP Promotions president Sean Gibbons.
“It’s sad to see ALA go,” Gibbons said via Facebook Messenger from Las Vegas. “It will have [a] little impact, but boxing is strong right now in the Philippines. So it’s not great to lose ALA boxing but boxing carries on.”
After all, Gibbons said, global superstar Manny Pacquiao is still here, carrying the torch not just for the Philippines but for all of boxing as well.
Games and Amusements Board Chair Abraham Mitra said losing ALA created a “dent [on] boxing world in the Philippines.”
“We hope that new promoters with similar dedication in boxing industry can fill in for their absence,” Mitra said.
It won’t be that easy, according to Joven Sports owner Joven Jimenez—who handles one of four Filipino reigning world champions, IBF super flyweight champ Jerwin Ancajas.
“It’s a pity,” Jimenez said in Filipino. “We are saddened by it. They are the biggest in the country, their promotions helped in Philippine boxing and hope they can come back.”
ALA has produced some of the biggest names in local boxing, including the likes of Donnie Nietes, Boom Boom Bautista and AJ Banal.
The Cebu-based boxing club brought new sheen to the struggling pro boxing here in the county by producing fully televised cards with their “Pinoy Pride” series, which staged bouts in Cebu, Manila, Dubai, and even in the United States.
For most of the past decade, ALA has been the most visible local promoter in the country.
But on Tuesday, its owners Tony and Michael Aldeguer announced it is closing its doors for good, citing the pandemic and the closure of its broadcast partner, ABS-CBN.
There are other boxing promoters in the Philippines, including the estate for the legendary Gabriel “Flash” Elorde and lesser knowns like Omega Boxing, Sanman Boxing and Hardstone Monis Boxing.
Aside from WBA welterweight super champ Pacquiao, other Filipino world titlists include Ancajas, WBO bantamweight king John Riel Casimero and IBF mini flyweight titlist Pedro Taduran.
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