Unbeaten Caribbean champ trains sights on Pacquiao

By Abac Cordero, The Philippine Star

Posted at Oct 17 2012 12:28 PM | Updated as of Oct 17 2012 08:28 PM

MANILA, Philippines - In the absence of the two main protagonists, one of the foreign fighters for the upcoming Pinoy Pride 17 “Philippines vs The World” boxing card made some noise in yesterday’s PSA Forum.

“After this one, we look forward to a fight with Manny Pacquiao,” declared Miguel “Hands of Stone” Antoine of Barbados who quickly drew the attention of the mediamen.

“I’m like Floyd Mayweather Jr. but faster and I hit harder. So if Pacquiao is not afraid, he will fight me,” he said.

Antoine is the reigning WBC Caribbean Boxing Federation lightweight champion. On Saturday, he will challenge Filipino Jason Pagara for the WBO International light-welterweight title.

Antoine is undefeated in 17 fights with nine knockouts, all inside five rounds. He promised to go for the knockout so he could earn a shot at the Filipino icon.

“We’ve seen some tough fights from Pagara (29-2-0). But we don’t expect this fight to go 12 rounds. Then we’re looking at Pacquiao,” said Antoine’s trainer, Samuel Gregory Layne.

Pagara, ranked No. 7 by the WBO, was not around as well the other Filipinos who will figure in the blockbuster boxing card presented by ALA Promotions and ABS-CBN.

The main bout will feature AJ Banal who will dispute the vacant WBO bantamweight crown against Thailand’s Pungluang Sor Singyu, who was set to arrive in Manila yesterday afternoon.

Dennis Canete and Chad Canares of ALA Promotions said the formal presscon will be held tomorrow and the official weigh-in on Friday at the Mall of Asia.

Banal (28-1-1) has been longing for a shot at a world title and said he will grab the opportunity against the battle-scarred Thailander who has a record of 42-1-0 with 27 knockouts.

“I’ve waited long for this title shot. I will not waste this chance,” said Banal.

Rey “Boom-Boom” Bautista will take on Mexican Daniel Ruiz for the WBO International featherweight crown. Ruiz sounded confident of beating the pride of Bohol.

“There would be a knockout and there won’t be a decision,” said Ruiz through his interpreter and assistant trainer Melencio Ricardo Omar Zamora.

Others who graced the forum at Shakey’s Malate were Mudde Ntambe Rabison of Uganda and Rasmudin of Indonesia. Rabison (19-2-1, 7 KOs) battles Michael Domingo, while Rasmudin clashes with Marlon Tapales.

The rest of the undercard include Juan Martin Elorde against Gerry Sismundo, Randy Bullong opposite Kazuma Ejir, and Robert Agcopra versus Nelson Sungahid.