Fajardo sees a win against Gabunilas in Engkwentro 11 mainer on August 15

By: Glendale G. Rosal - Multimedia Correspondent - CDN Digital | August 14,2023 - 08:15 PM

Miel Fajardo (left) and John Paul Gabunilas (right) strike a pose during the official weigh-in for their Oriental and Pacific Boxing Federation (OPBF) light flyweight title showdown on Monday, August 14, 2023, at the Mactan Island Convention Center. | Glendale Rosal

Miel Fajardo (left) and John Paul Gabunilas (right) strike a pose during the official weigh-in for their Oriental and Pacific Boxing Federation (OPBF) light flyweight title showdown on Monday, August 14, 2023, at the Mactan Island Convention Center. | Glendale Rosal

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Miel “Silent Assassin” Fajardo foresees an impressive victory against fellow prospect John Paul “Angas ng Cebu” Gabunilas in the main event of “Engkwentro 11: Prospects Collide,” of ARQ Sports, tomorrow, August 15, 2023, at the Hoops Dome in Lapu-Lapu City. 

The 23-year-old Fajardo, who holds the unofficial record of the Philippines if not the world’s fastest knockout win in boxing will try to take home the vacant Oriental and Pacific Boxing Federation (OPBF) light flyweight title in Gabunilas’ home turf. 

READ: Gabunilas says he’s not afraid of Fajardo’s power as they fight in Engkwentro 11 main event

Fajardo: Engkwentro fight important

In an interview during the official weigh-in on Monday, August 14, Fajardo said that winning the OPBF title would put him in the top 15 world rankings of the World Boxing Council (WBC). This will guarantee Fajardo to land bigger fights, including a world title shot in the future. 

“Para sa ako, importante kaayo ni nga fight, ang OPBF, makapasaka og rankings sa WBC. Kung makuha, soon mas dako nga dula akong makuha pud,” said Fajardo who weighed in at 107.9 pounds on Monday’s official weigh-in. 

(For me, this is a very important fight, the OPBF,  because this can raise my rankings at the WBC. If I can get this one, soon I will also get bigger fights.)

READ: Suarez stakes unbeaten record in US debut on Aug. 26

“Nindot ni nga sumbagay, pareho mi ensayado, maayo, dili lang ta mo kumpyansa. Makita ra ni ugma kinsa ang mas maayo namong duha,” Fajardo said.

(This will be a good fight, we are both trained, he is a good fighter, we will not just be complacent. We can see tomorrow on who will be the better fighter.)

READ: Demecillo falters in US boxing debut, loses by decision to American boxer Crowder

Different styles meet

Meanwhile, Gabunilas, one of ARQ Boxing Stable’s banner boxers, displayed his preparedness after weighing a bit lower than the contracted weight in 106.9 lbs. 

Fajardo said that his style would be his advantage over Gabunilas, but he would not be complacent in their 12-rounder bout as he would face an equally talented foe whom he considered one of his toughest opponent. 

“Siguro ang style kay lahi-lahi mi og style. Basta makita ra ni nato isa ibabaw sa ring. Dili nato masulti ang knockout kay maayo atong kontra, pero kung matyempohan, basin naa gyud maknockout,” said Fajardo. 

(Perhaps (we are different), in our style because we have different styles. You can see this on top of the ring. We cannot say of a knockout because our opponent is good, but if we can hit him with a haymaker, then there will be a knockout.)

READ: Jake Amparo wins WBO title fight in Japan via unanimous decision

Equally cautious

Like Fajardo, Gabunilas won’t be too confident when the two will square off tomorrow afternoon. 

Gabunilas, 22, of Cebu City said during the post-weigh-in interview that he would not predict a knockout win, but instead he vowed to give an all-out performance. 

“Sa ibabaw na gyud sa ring makita kung naay maknockout. Walay makapredict namong duha kung naay maknockout kay puro man mi gatraining,” said Gabunilas. 

(You can see that on the ring if there will be a knockout. From both of us, we cannot predict if there will be a knockout because both of us went into training.) 

READ: Elijah Pierce KOs Pinoy boxer Mike Plania in 3rd round of Atlanta fight

Andam kaayo mi

“Andam na kaayo mi sa akong team. Mao man ni among gipili nga kontra. Mao nang amo gyud gipreparahan daan. Mao nang medyo ubos akong timbang ug dili sad sobra. Amo ra gitantsa nga sakto ra ang timbang among gikuha,” he said.

(I am so ready together with my team. This is the opponent we choose. That is why we prepared for him. That is why my weight is lower and not over. We estimated the right weight to get.)

Fajardo has 10 wins, 9 knockouts, 1 loss, and 2 draws in his budding pro record. Fajardo is also ranked No. 7 in the IBF and No. 12 in WBO’s flyweight division.

Meanwhile, Gabunilas holds a 10-1 (win-loss) record with 7 knockouts. He is the current OPBF and WBO Asia Pacific youth light flyweight champion. 

READ: Nonito Donaire falls to Alexandro Santiago in world title fight

Abne vs. Paradero: Co main event

In the co-main event, Gabunilas’ stablemate, April Jay Abne tipped the weighing scale at 111.3 lbs, while two-time world title challenger Robert Paradero weighed in at 110.2 lbs for their OPBF silver flyweight title. 

The rest of the fight card features Rodex “The Tank” Piala (ARQ Stable) vs Jason Canoy Manigos (Big Yellow Boxing Stable), Bryx Piala (ARQ Stable) vs Alan Alberca (Sindangan Zamboanga del Norte), Berland Robles (ARQ  Stable) vs Francis Jay Diaz (Cagayan De Oro), and Bryan James” Wild Fury” Wild (ARQ Stable) VS Ryan Ponteras (Cotobato). 

The curtain opener starts at 3:00 PM with free admission. 

READ: Terence Crawford stops Errol Spence to become undisputed welterweight champion

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TAGS: Engkwentro 11: Prospects Collide, Fajardo, Gabunilas

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