Pete Apolinar (left) and Christian Araneta face off during a sparring session inside the ‘bubble’ at the International Pharmaceutical Inc. compound in Cebu City. (Photo courtesy of Omega Boxing Promotions)

Games and Amusements Board (GAB) chairman Abraham “Baham” Mitra sees the boxing event in Cebu next month a historic one which can serve as a guide for other local promoters who are all hoping to resume their livelihood after months inactivity.

Mitra said he is likely to watch the 4-card fight live on Oct. 7 presented by the Omega Boxing Promotions in a “bubble” at the International Pharmaceuticals Inc. in Mandaue City.

“We are happy that the historic Philippine boxing restart is happening,” Mitra told Manila Bulletin in a message Wednesday as the event serves as the first of its kind since the implementation of the nationwide lockdown in March.

It was originally set Sept. 30, but Julius Erving Junco, the head trainer of the Omega Boxing Promotions, said the 4-card event has been moved to another week due to some matters they need to attend.T

The event is under the supervision of GAB, which was made possible by the Joint Administrative Order (JAO) that was crafted along with the help of the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) and the Department of Health (DOH) for the resumption of sports in the professional level.

“Nasa 80 percent na, may mga konti lang na inaayos,” said Junco. “Basta ginagawa namin to para gumalaw yung record ng boxer namin at para naman mabuhay uli ang boxing sa Pilipinas.”

“Lugi talaga ang promoter dito, but for the love of boxing gagawin natin ito. Sana maging smooth ang takbo at maging successful ang promotion natin for Philippine boxing,” added Junco, who credited Omega Boxing Promotions chief Pio Paulo Castillo III for his sacrifices for the event to happen.

The four boxers of Omega who are set to see action are Mark Vicelles, Pete Apolinar, Christian Araneta and Carlo Bacaro

Vicelles will go up against Junuel Lacar from Baguio City in the 10-round light flyweight encounter, while Apolinar takes on Jetro Pabustan from Cagayan de Oro, also in a 10-round featherweight category,

The other two fights are between Araneta and Richard Rosales from Bohol in the flyweight division, and Bacaro versus Jeffry Stella from Cebu in the welterweight class.

“Five bouts are allowed but they will only have four so super complied and no audience,” said Mitra. “This will serve as a template for other boxing promotions that have already been allowed by the IATF.”

“Together with Omega Boxing Promotions, we hope to showcase the strict health protocols that were put in place by the Joint Administrative Order of the GAB, PSC and DOH. If a Cebu organization can promote it, I’m sure others can follow and start promoting.”

“This will be good for the Philippine boxing scene,” said Mitra.

Source: Manila Bulletin (