The Waterfront Hotel and Casino in Cebu City, Philippines sets the scene when highly touted undefeated prospect Harmonito Dela Torre, 12-0 (7), faces battle-tested Gadwin Tubigon, 10-8-2 (5), for the vacant World Boxing Federation (WBF) International Super Featherweight title on May 3.
A pro for little over two years, following a 65-5 amateur career where he represented his country in various tournaments, 20-year-old Dela Torre is the reigning Philippines national champion, a title he won last September by defeating veteran campaigner Richard Olisa.
Nicknamed “El Huracan de Gensan”, the Hurricane from General Santos City, Dela Torre has trained alongside his hero Manny Pacquiao at the Wild Card Boxing Club in Los Angeles, and in his last two outings he scored impressive knockouts in non-title bouts in Macao, China.
In November of last year he knocked out Indonesian Jason Butar Butar on the Pacquiao vs. Brandon Rios undercard, and this past February he destroyed another Indonesian, Yakobus Heluka, in one round on another big show promoted by Top Rank.
At age 29, and a prizefighter since 2008, Gadwin Tubigon is expected to give his young opponent a good run for his money. Despite a mediocre record, Tubigon is a live underdog and has proven in the past to be a dangerous foe for up-and-comers.
Based in Cebu City, Tubigon is the local man in this fight and will be enjoying most support from the fans at ringside. Dela Torre is considered a future star, and is favored to win, but Tubigon realizes that this is a big opportunity for him to rejuvenate his career, and he is full of motivation leading up to the bout:
“Sure, he is probably the one most people expect to win, but the kid has never been in with someone like me. Records don’t mean anything if a man can fight, and I can fight! I want this WBF title so bad I can taste it, and it will stay in Cebu City”, said Tubigon.
It remains to be seen if Dela Torre is too young, quick and talented for Tubigon, or if the underdog is too hungry and motivated for the prospect to handle on the night. Dela Torre is on paper the man with the brightest future in the ring ahead, but it would not be the first time that someone like Tubigon upsets the applecart.
On the same bill, in another domestic clash between undefeated prospect and experienced veteran, Cebu City’s Jack Tepora, 9-0 (5), will fight Jo-as Apericio, 11-11 (8), from Cagayan de Oro City for the vacant WBF Asia Pacific Super Bantamweight title.
Televised live in the Philippines on TV5, the WBF title fight doubleheader is presented by SGG Sports Promotions, Sampson Boxing and Omega Boxing Promotions.