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Martin nears weight in La Trinidad fight

HOMECOMING. Carl Jammes Martin poses with La Trinidad mayor Romeo Salda during his courtesy call last Monday at the Municipal Hall. With them are left Arthur Villanueva, carrying his WBA Asia South bantamweight belt and promoter Darwin Dep-ay. Pigeon Lobien

LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – La Trinidad mayor Romeo Salda formally welcomed Monday Carl Jammes Martin as he looks forward to a successful fight of the Ifugao Wonder Boy on  December 17 at the Cordillera Career Development College.

Martin said that he is ready to face Komgrich Nantapech for the International Boxing Federation – Pan Pacific super bantamweight title at the Admirals gym that will highlight the 10 card Fight for Glory: Homecoming.

“We are still trying to shave six pounds from weight,” admitted the 23 year old who carries a 20-0 (win loss) card, 16 of which came from knockout.

He also said that he is having a hard time shaving off excess weight to meet the catch weight unlike years ago when it was easier for him, a reason why he moved to the super bantamweight division early last year.

Martin goes to the ring carrying the more than a million Cordillerans’ hope of seeing another world champion 49 years after Roberto Cruz won the World Boxing Association light welterweight title.

Salda expressed support for Martin who is expected to fight abroad next year after signing with Probellum Promotions last year. Probellum promotes Nonito Donaire, one of the biggest Filipino draws and most successful since Manny Pacquiao.

When Carl Jammes Martin steps on the ring on Saturday, December 17, at the Cordillera Career Development gym to fight Thai Komgrich Nantapech, he carries the hope of more than a million Cordillerans wanting to see another son in the world stage.

It has been 59 long years since a Cordilleran wore a world title belt. It was an Iloko native, San Fernando, La Union, turned Baguio resident who last wore such a strap. Roberto Cruz or actually Roberto dela Cruz, a son of a policeman who wanted his kids to learn how to speak English so they moved up to Baguio, said sister Jaylie de Jesus, nee dela Cruz.

“Instead my brother learned to fight and he was in brawls so many times that his shift to boxing was imminent,” said the younger sister in Filipino.

Cruz first fought outside the country in March 21, 1963 in Los Angeles, California, United States where he faced Battling Torres from Mexico at the Dodgers Stadium for the vacant WBA light welterweight title. Though the underdog, Cruz knocked out one of the hardest hitting punchers of his time in the first round to win the title.

Fifteen years later, in April 29, 1978, another Cordilleran – then Baguio resident (from Camdas) Rey Tam challenged Alexis Arguelles for the latter’s WBC super featherweight belt but lost after five rounds.

No Cordilleran has come close to what Cruz or Tam has accomplished until Martin’s arrival and who has been successful in his fights that fighting abroad or even in the United States.

“This could be his last fight in the Cordilleras or even in the Philippines, so it was the reason we brought him here, to let our fellow Cordillerans see him before he fights elsewhere,” said Pinoy Boxing Prodigy boss Darwin Miller Dep-ay.

The official weigh in will be 10AM tomorrow at the Benguet Provincial Capitol which will be followed by the press conference.

Tickets to the fight are now available for Martin vs Nantapech: Fight for Glory – Homecoming. Ticket cost is PhP300 for general admission and VIP tickets are at PhP1,000. For ticket reservation, contact Darwin Dep-ay of Pinoy Boxing Prodigy. Pigeon Lobien

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