Michael Farenas is banking on the full support of Manny Pacquiao and the teamup of Gerry Penalosa and Anson Tiu Co in his quest to become a world champion when he faces Mexican hard-hitter Jesus Rios in a 10-round super-featherweight match on Dec. 13 at the Solaire Resort and Casino.
“We’d like to produce a world champion and we need Manny Pacquiao to fulfill that mission,” said Penalosa during a press conference yesterday at the Solaire Resort and Casino.
Farenas made waves in the US last year when he nearly beat Cuban Yuriorkis Gamboa in a bid to win the world title and is now being groomed to get another chance in February next year when Bob Arum holds another big show at The Venetian in Macau.
Penalosa said he conferred with Arum recently in Macau and was told to get Farenas ready for a showdown with Mikey Garcia, the reigning World Boxing Organization super-feather titlist.
Garcia is one of Arum’s stars at Top Rank and Penalosa said Farenas, who has a 34-4-4 record with 28 KOs, has what it takes to wage war with the creme dela creme of the 130-lb division.
But Penalosa said Farenas has to get past Rios, who holds a 26-4-1 card with 20 KOs, before thinking of Garcia.
Tiu Co, whose Shape Up Boxing Gym in Baguio City used to host Pacquiao’s training camps, said their first foray into bigtime boxing promises to bring out the best in Filipino fighters.
Also seeing action in the card are Dodie Boy Penalosa Jr. (11-0 with 11 KOs), who faces Alem Robles (6-3-2 with 2 KOs), also of Mexico, in an eight-round super-bantam duel and Richard Pumicpic (13-5-2 with four KOs), who meets Luis Lugo (15-4-2 with 11 KOs), another Mexican, in a 10-round encounter at super-bantam. (Nick Giongco)