Arum toasts the Philippines for its top boxers

Bob Arum with two prized boxers, Manny Pacquiao, seated left, and Juan Manuel Marquez (at podium). Getty Images

By Bert Eljera

LAS VEGASBob Arum of Top Rank, considered the world’s top boxing promoter, has praised the Philippines as the leading producer of the best boxers in the world today.

“So they’re becoming one of the most important countries for boxing in the entire world,” Arum said, commenting on a forthcoming bout featuring Filipino Manny Pacquiao and Mexican Juan Manuel Marquez.

On the same fight card on Dec. 8 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas are two other rising Filipino boxers – Michael Farenas and Mercito Gesta.

Farenas, who has won seven of his last eight bouts, will go up against former featherweight champion Yuriorkis Gamboa (21-0, 16 knockouts), who is 30.

The 28-year old Farenas, a southpaw, has 34 wins, 26 by knockouts, three draws and four loses.

Gesta, an undefeated southpaw, fights Miguel Vazquez of Mexico, the lightweight titleholder.

The lineup also includes a clash of unbeaten featherweights Javier Fortuna and Patrick Hyland.

“It’s going to be a great night for the Filipino boxing fans, not only with Pacquiao, but now, with Gesta and Farenas,” Arum told

Arum’s praise for Filipino boxers is self-congratulatory, in a sense. His other boxer, Filipino-American junior featherweight champion Nonito Donaire, is making an HBO-televised Dec. 15 defense against Jorge Arce.

The Pacquiao-Marquez fight is the fourth encounter between the two boxers.

In November, Pacquiao (54-4-2, 38 KOs) won an unpopular and disputed majority decision over Marquez (54-6-1, 39 KOs).

They also have fought to a draw and a split-decision that favored the Filipino boxer.

It will be Pacquiao’s first bout since losing a controversial split-decision to Tim Bradley  and lost his WBO welterweight crown in June.

Follow Bert Eljera on Twitter @vegaspinoy60 and on Facebook at

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