ESPN5 goes ‘bell to bell’ with day­long box­ing

The Philippine Star - - SPORTS - By ABAC CORDERO

ESPN5 will vir­tu­ally go like a bellto-bell fighter as it presents world-class box­ing matches all day on May 13.

“It’s wall-to-wall box­ing,” said TV5 pres­i­dent Chot Reyes of the pre­sen­ta­tion that kicks off with the air­ing of the WBA lightweight ti­tle clash be­tween Va­syl Lo­machenko and Jorge Linares at the Madi­son Square Gar­den.

The Lo­machenko-Linares show­down airs on ESPN5 at 10 a.m.

Then at 3 p.m., a heavy nine-bout card dubbed “Sur­vival In­stinct” and pre­sented by MP Pro­mo­tions, Knuck­le­heads Pro and Joven Sports Pro­mo­tions comes in.

Mark An­thony Bar­riga, the vet­eran of the 2012 Lon­don Olympics, re­sumes his quest for a world ti­tle when he faces Gabriel Mendoza of Colom­bia in an elim­i­na­tor for the IBF min­i­mumweight crown.

Fight­ing on the same card at the SM North Edsa Skydome are the come­back­ing Marvin Son­sona and AJ “Ba­zooka” Banal.

Grac­ing yes­ter­day’s press lun­cheon was reign­ing IBF ju­nior-ban­tamweight cham­pion Jer­win An­ca­jas, who is set to de­fend his crown against coun­try­man Jonas Sul­tan on May 27 in Las Ve­gas.

It’s a big day for the 24-year-old Bar­riga, who is 8-0 since turn­ing pro in 2016. His 38-year-old op­po­nent had seen it all with a 29-5-2 record laced with 23 knock­outs.

“He’s a good boxer. It shows in his record. He’s no pushover,” said Bar­riga at the Raf­fles Ho­tel in Makati.

“This will be a tough fight,” added Bar­riga.

Son­sona, the for­mer WBO su­per­fly­weight cham­pion, is com­ing off a long lay­off. He last fought in June 2015 at the StubHub Cen­ter in Car­son, Cal­i­for­nia.

“I’ve re­dis­cov­ered box­ing,” said the 27-year-old Son­sona.

Banal, 29, is also on the come­back trail. He was out of the ring for two years, and re­turned to ac­tion with a vic­tory over Ja­son Egera in Makati City last De­cem­ber.

“I think it’s not too late,” he said of his come­back.

Son­sona and Banal are in the thick of prepa­ra­tions for the May 13 bout al­though they have yet to fi­nal­ize the deal with their re­spec­tive op­po­nents from In­done­sia.

Chot Reyes, pres­i­dent and CEO of ESPN5, makes a fight­ing pose with prom­i­nent box­ers (from left) AJ ‘Ba­zooka’ Banal, for­mer Rio Olympian Mark An­thony Bar­riga, IBF jr-ban­tamweight cham­pion Jer­win An­ca­jas and ‘Mar­velous’ Marvin Son­sona dur­ing the ESPN5...

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