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Reigning world bantamweight champion Marlon Tapales, who rose from a fifth round knockdown twice in the fifth round to crush and knock out defending champion Pungluang Sor Singyu of Thailand on the 11th round, will march on stage to receive the highest honor in pro boxing as co-winner of the Boxing of the Year award during the Gabriel “Flash” Elorde Memorial Awards and Banquet of Champions on March 25 at The Tent of the Manila Hotel.
Tapales, 24, clobbered and was in turn clobbered from start to finish by the Thai defending champion, also named Panya Uthok, who the past several years earned the distinction as the tormentor of 20 Filipinos all of whom he defeated.
The native from Lanao del Norte was at the point of being counted out when he fell twice in the fifth round, but he fought on. With an amazing show of will power, he held fort before catching the Thai with a right straight to the chin in the 11th round, followed by two heavy blows to the body. Those fast combinations took the fight out of the Thai, who did not beat the referee’s count and sat against the ropes while Tapales and his camp celebrated on stage.
It was Tapales’ first world title as he improved to 29-2-0 with 12 knockouts while Pungluang, who lost the title on his second defense, fell to his fourth loss against 52 wins with 35 KOs.
Tapales will join fellow Boxer of the Year awardees IBF world champion Johnriel Casimero and IBF World superflyweight king Jerwin Ancajas who will lead honorees in the Elorde rites and Banquet of Champions, also held to celebrate the 82nd birth anniversary of Elorde.
Elorde Hall of Fame honorees Manny Pacquiao, the current WBO World welterweight champion, and Donnie Nietes, the WBO world lightweight champion, will be honored with an Award of Distinction.
The other major highlight of the Elorde Awards, to be presented by the Elorde family led by Da Flash’s wife Laura, is the casting of the fists, a ceremonial casting of the fists of current and former Filipino world champions still alive. They will form part of a rich, extensive collection of memorabilia of Filipino greats.
The boxers, led by Pacquiao, whose fists will be cast this year are former WBO bantamweight titlist Gerry Peñalosa, former WBC lightweight champion Rolando Pascua, former IBF world super flyweight titleholder Tacy Macalos and former IBF world flyweight king Dodie Boy Peñalosa.
Eleven Philippine champions of Class of 2016 as well as 42 regional and international champions from the major boxing organizations in 11 divisions will also be honored in the Awards Night where special citations will be given to the best promoter (Jim Claude Manangquil), best referee (Danrex Tapdasan), best trainer (Jhun Agrabio), most promising boxer (Aston Palicte, WBO Oriental and IBF Superflyweight champion) and the best fight of the year between Kenny Demecillo and Rambo Lagos for the WBF Asia bantamweight championship on July 30, 2016 in Cebu.
To be honored as best male amateur fighter is Carlo Paalam, bronze medalist in the AIBA World Youth Championship.
The late Ronnie Nathanielsz, a noted trimedia writer, commentator and analyst who covered almost all important boxing bouts including those of Flash Elorde and Pacquiao and the Thrilla in Manila, and fellow journalist Hermie Rivera will be given posthumous awards.
Special awards will be presented to WBO vice president Leon Panoncillo while citations will be given to Naris Singwancha, Contour Rehabilitation and Wellness, Rotary Club Manila Premier and Manila Hotel.
This Banquet of Champions is being sponsored by COBRA, Hapee Toothpaste, Elorde Boxing Gyms, Contour Rehabilitation & Wellness , Elorde Sports Center, Southpaw Bar & Grill, Philippine Amusements & Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR), Cast & Frame and Bai & Mig Party Favors.
For information and ticket reservations for the Awards Night please call 0939-0617319, 0917-2504156 and 825-0625. Look for Beth or Liza.