Visiting Almacen ready to take on Gabunilas in Cebu City
CEBU CITY, Philippines—Jonathan “Pretty Boy” Almacen is unfazed in fighting on his opponent’s backyard as he takes on Cebuano Johnpaul Gabunilas for the vacant Oriental Pacific Boxing Federation (OPBF) Youth light flyweight title on December 20, 2021, at the Alta Vista gymnasium here.
Almacen and Gabunilas will square off in the main event of “Engkwentro Tres” fight card of the ARQ Sports Promotions.
The 22-year-old Almacen of Muntinlupa City has a young pro record of seven wins, four defeats, and two draws. He hasn’t won by knockout yet.
But his resume is quite deceiving as the young boxer has already fought big names in his division, making him a very dangerous opponent for Gabunilas, one of ARQ Boxing Stable’s top prospects.
“Handang-handa na po ako salaban na ito. Hindi na po bago sa akin ang dumayo sa mga laban ko sa ibang lugar,” said Almacen.
(I’m ready for this fight. It’s not new to me to fight in other places.)
Almacen fought world title challenger Robert Paradero in 2019, where he lost via knockout.
Most recently, he gallantly stood against South African two-division world champion Hekkie Budler for the vacant WBC silver light flyweight strap in South Africa last May. He also lost via unanimous decision.
He traded leathers against rising prospects ArAr Andales and Jayson Vayson but lost to both boxers via unanimous decision.
Almacen revealed that this fight against Gabunilas is crucial for him, considering that he wants to bounce back from his loss against Budler.
He said he dedicates his fight to his wife and his child.
“Magaling si Gabunilas pero pag sisikapan ko po na maipanalo ang laban ko po. Hindi ko po masasabi na sigurado akong maipanalo ang laban pero gagawin ko ang lahat para makuha ang panalo,” he said.
(Gabunilas is a good fighter but I will do my best to win this fight. I can’t predict a win but I will surely do my best to get the win.
The 21-year old Gabunilas (4-1-0, 3KOs) was supposedly scheduled to fight Jerome “The Machine” Baloro (6-0, 4KOs) for the OPBF title last October 30.
However, Gabunilas suffered a minor injury during training, which forced the fight to be moved to December 20, with a new opponent in Almacen.
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