Three outstanding young boxers will be honored together with veteran fighters Donnie Nietes and Manny Pacquiao in the 17th Gabriel “Flash” Elorde Memorial Awards and Banquet of Champions at The Tent of the Manila Hotel tonight.
International Boxing Federation (IBF) super flyweight champion Jerwin Ancajas, World Boxing Organization (WBO) bantamweight titleholder Marlon Tapales and ex-IBF flyweight champion Johnriel Casimero will receive the Boxer of the Year plums.
Meanwhile, the three-division champion Nietes and WBO welterweight champion Pacquiao will be given Award of Distinction for their accomplishments in boxing. The two were already inducted into the Hall of Fame during the past edition of the Elorde Awards. Nietes, for being undefeated in the last seven years as world champion, and Pacquiao for being an eight-division world champion. Tonight will be the first time that Award of Distinction will be given.
Minor awards will also be given to Philippine champions, regional titleholders, trainers-coaches and promoters.
Prior to the awarding ceremony, a boxing event titled Boxing Kontra Droga will start at 5 p.m. featuring the World Boxing Council international minimum weight championship fight between Jay Loto and Lito Dante. The other bout is between WBC International light flyweight champion Jonathan Taconing and Indonesian Faris Nggenggo.
Laura Elorde, the widow of the late Gabriel Elorde will welcome the guests while Games and Amusement Board Chairman Abraham Mitra will deliver the opening remarks. Senator Pacquiao is the event’s guest of honor and speaker.
JOSEF T. RAMOS