SPORTS continue to flourish under the administration of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.
Less than two week after the courtesy visit of the World Cup-bound Philippine women’s football team at Malacañang, President Marcos personally received newly-crowned Filipino boxing champion Dave Apolinario at the President’s Hall last Wednesday, Aug. 3.
Apolinario, nicknamed “The Dobermann”, became the newest Filipino fighter to bring home the International Boxing Organization (IBO) world flyweight title after knocking out former three-division world champion Gideon Buthelezi of South Africa in the first round at the International Convention Centre in South Africa last July 30.
The President congratulated the boxing champion on his accomplishment that brought pride and honor to Filipinos around the world.
“Binabati natin si Dave “Dobermann” Apolinariosa kanyang pagka-panalo sa katatapos lamang na IBO world championship na ginanap sa East London, South Africa,” said President Marcos.
“Ang kanyang dedikasyon at pagsusumikap na ipinamalas sa larangan ng boksing ay di matatawaran at karapat-dapat lamang na ipagmalaki. Makakaasa po kayo na ating susuportahan ang mga susunod na laban ng bawat atletang Pilipino.”
Apolinario, who was accompanied by Games and Amusements Board (GAB) Officer-In-Charge Atty. Ermar U. Benitez, GAB Boxing Division head Jackie Lou C. Ornido, and Jim Claude Manangquil of SanMan Promotions handed over a pair of signed gloves to President Marcos during his courtesy visit.
In return, the Chief Executive signed another pair of gloves for Apolinario and gave him a commemorative gold coin.
The 23-year-old fighter from Sarangani Province dropped Buthelezi (23-6, 5 KOs) with a left cross to capture the vacant IBO crown and raise his ring record o to 17 wins, including 12 knockouts, with no defeat.
Apolinario, younger brother of former pros John Mark and Paul Apolinario, rose to prominence by winning gold medals at the Philippine National Games and Palarong Pambansa tournaments.
He turned pro at the age 18.
“We are excited for Philippine professional boxing. Not only is it recovering from the effects of the pandemic, but it is also invigorated by the recent victories of our champions,” said Benitez, GAB OIC and Legal Division Chief.
Also last July 30, World Boxing Association (WBA) Asia super bantamweight champion Carl Jammes Martin successfully defended his title against Tanzanian boxer Charles Tondo in a 12-round bout by unanimous decision at SM City San Lazaro in Sta. Cruz Manila.
Martin, also known as the “Wonder Boy” from Ifugao, also holds a perfect record at 20 wins and 0 losses, with 16 KOs.
“As of today, we have one world champion and 21 regional champions. We might even have as much as 26, depending on the results of the upcoming matches of our fighters in the coming days here and abroad,” added Ornido, GAB OIC Boxing and Other Contact Sports Division chief.