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9 world boxing champs coming to Manila confab

Mia St. John
Superwelterweight champion Mia St. John in action.

THE best and the brightest in boxing, including nine world champions, will be in Manila when the third WBC Women’s Convention and WBC Asian Summit get underway Nov. 17-19 at the Philippine International Convention Center.

Games and Amusement Board (GAB) Chairman Baham Mitra said nine former and reigning world women champions are expected to come and add prestige during the three-day convention which attracted close to 500 delegates from 17 countries.

The nine are:

  1. Superwelterweight champion Mia St. John.
  2. Heavyweight Alejandra Jimenez of Mexico.
  3. Middleweight Christina Hammer of Germany.
  4. Featherweight Jelena Mrdjenovich of Canada.
  5. Superbantamweight Fatuma Zarika of Kenya.
  6. Bantamweight  Mariana Juarez of Mexico.
  7. Lightflyweight  Yesenia Gomez of Mexico.
  8. Atomweight Fabiana Bytyqi of the Czech Republic.
  9. Atomweight  Brenda Flores of Mexico.

“Hosting both the WBC Women’s Convention and WBC Asian Summit is another feather to the cap of the Philippines,” said Mitra in an interview with People’s Tonight.

“We are ready to roll out the red carpet to welcome our foreign guests and show them the Filipinos’ world-class hospitality,”  said Mitra,  under whose leadership GAB  was honored as “Commission of the Year” during the WBC Convention in Baku, Azerbaijan last year.

No less than WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman, WBC International Secretary and WBC Cares  International Chairperson Jill Diamond and WBC Women’s Championship Committee Chairman  Malte  Muller-Michaelis will attend the convention, which   was initially  scheduled to be  held in Culiacan, Mexico before its transfer to Manila.

This is the fourth time that the WBC Convention will be held in the country.

Manila was the site of the WBC Convention in 1967 when two Filipinos headed the body, Justiniano Montano Jr. as president and Atty. Rodrigo Salud as secretary-general.

It was also Salud who authored the WBC Constitution and By-Laws ratified during the 1967 Convention.

Manila also  hosted  the WBC Convention in 1970 and 2007.

A  highlight of the event is the Gala Dinner and Awards Night on Nov. 17 where OPBF president Tsuyoshi Yasukochi of Japan and WBC Asian Boxing Council and WBC Muay Thai president Gen. Khovid Bhakdibhumi of Thailand will deliver messages.

Posthumous awards will also be given  to Montano, Salud, Boxing Hall of Fame promoter Lope “Papa” Sarreal, GAB chairman Luis Tabuena and former WBC champions Flash Elorde and Pedro Adigue.

Former GAB chairmen Juan Ramon Guanzon, Eric Buhain, Eduardo Villanueva, Dominador Cepeda, Francisco Sumulong and Alberto Antonio will be cited  with former WBC titleholders Rene  Barrientos,  Erbito Salavarria, Rolando  “Bad Boy” Navarrete, Frank Cedeno,  Luisito Espinosa, Rolando Pascua, Gerry Penalosa, Manny  Pacquiao, Malcolm Tunacao, Brian Viloria, Rodel Mayol, Nonito Donaire and Sonny Boy Jaro.

Assisting Mitra in organizing the event are GAB commissioners Mario Masanguid and Eduard  Trinidad, head of finance/administration Ofie Retardo and boxing chief Jun Bautista.