ALA fighters hope US training will pay off in “Philippines vs. the World”

LOS ANGELES – It’s been a month of US training for three of Saturday’s main event and while a fighter usually never looks past his next opponent, these ALA fighters can’t help but think this trip will lead to bigger things beyond the “Philippines vs. the World” at the Stub Hub Center on Oct. 17.

Donnie Nietes has been a world champion for a Philippine record eight years.

The other ALA fighters featured in “Philippines vs. the World” are top contenders. Albert Pagara and Mark Magsayo are young and undefeated, while Jason Pagara is one of the top-ranked lightweights in the world.

“Lahat sila ready talaga ng world title fight, depende lang kung ano- anong opportunity darating sa career nila,” said boxing trainer Edito Villamor.

“Number 2 ako sa world, mag-hintay lang ako sa manager ko kung ibibigay ang opportunity depende sa laban. Hintay lang ako,” said Jason.

When that time comes, their training in the US will come in handy. For the past month, they trained alongside other boxers at the famed Wild Card Gym, exposing them to a variety of fighters.

“Sa atin, mga Pinoy lang ang nakaka-spar. Dito mga iba ibang lahi so maganda sa experience nila,” said Villamor. “May iba iba din may fighter may brawler may boxers, so iba iba din.”

One of the best experiences was for Nietes, who had a chance to spar with two-time world champion Brian Viloria.

Viloria himself is in preparations for his own Oct. 17 fight against current pound-for-pound king Roman Gonzalez.

“Talagang malaking maka tulong sa akin ‘yung mga higher level ng world champion so malaki talaga yung tulong sa akin,” said Nietes.

As ALA Promotions makes its way into the US, part of the work is also outside the ring, which is giving fans the chance to meet the fighters during the “Philippines vs. the World” Caravan.

“Okay ang caravan namin. Maraming Pilipino sumusuporta sa amin. Maraming Pilipino nagpa-autograph,” said Albert.

That support has given these fighters the extra motivation to put on a big win at the Stub Hub center this weekend.

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