MANILA, Philippines - Former WBO welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao will be the guest of honor and speaker in the 13th Elorde Memorial Awards, which will honor boxers of the year and prominent boxing personalities, on March 25 at the Sofitel Hotel.
Pacquiao will also present the Gabriel “Flash” Elorde Memorial Belt to WBO and WBA flyweight titleholder Nonito Donaire Jr., who will be accorded the highest honor as 2012 most outstanding boxer chosen from a roster of world champions that include IBF light flyweight champion John Riel Casimero, WBO and WBA flyweight titleholder Brian Viloria, WBO light flyweight ruler Donnie Nietes and former WBC flyweight champion Sonny Boy Jaro.
A special event of the night is the showdown between Juan Martin “Bai” Elorde, grandson of Da Flash, and Maxsaisai Sithsaithong for the vacant WBO Asia Pacific super featherweight championship.
The bout headlines a five-bout card which includes the Phl bantamweight title fight between titleholder Monico Laurente and top contender Elmer Francisco.
World-rated Jonathan Taconing will also see action against Thai fighter Yodpichai Sithsaithong for 10 rounds at 111 lbs.
Jimuel Magramo (six-rounder) and one Fritz Bolanguit (four-rounder) will see action against separate opponents.
The bouts, starting at 5 p.m., precede the awarding ceremonies which will include the presentation of awards to international and Philippine champions, best promoter (Michael Aldeguer), judge (Rey Danseco), referee (Silvestre Abainza), best trainer (Edmund Villamor) and most promising boxer (WBC silver minimumweight champion Denver Cuello Singwancha).
Special awards will be presented to Ronnie Nathanielsz (sportswriter/boxing commentator), Bruce McTavish (international referee), Dr. Jose Unabia (GAB ring physician), Mark Anthony Barriga (2012 London Olympics qualifier), amateur boxers Charly Suarez and Josie Gabuco and former WBC international flyweight champ Jonathan Peñalosa.
The best fight of the year was fought by Renan Trongco and Leonel Legada for the youth intercontinental light flyweight title on Oct. 28, 2012.
The awards, held on the occasion of the 78th birth anniversary of the world junior lightweight champion from 1960-67, will be presented by the Elorde clan led by the legend’s wife Laura.