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Pacquiao leads Elorde Boxing Awards rites

Five current and former world champions will etch their names into immortality in the “Casting of Fists,” a major highlight of the 17th Gabriel Flash Elorde Memorial Boxing Awards and Banquet of Champions on March 25 at the Tent City of the Manila Hotel.

On hand for the rites, which will honor three Boxer of the Year awardees for 2016, are WBO welterweight and former eight-division champion Manny Pacquiao, former WBO world bantamweight champ Gerry Penalosa, former WBC light flyweight titleholder Rolando Pascua, former IBF light flyweight king Tacy Macalos and former IBF world flyweight champion Dodie Boy Penalosa.

The fists cast in stone will be permanent fixtures in the Elorde Boxing Hall of Fame, a museum of the Philippines’ world champions, from Pancho Villa in the pre-war era, to the post-war from Flash Elorde and other greats who have already passed away or have retired, to the present generation of active world titleholders.

“The images cast from the fists of world champions still alive form part of a permanent collection of the pictures, records and memorabilia the sport of boxing has contributed to the development of the sport and make us proud of Filipino achievements on the world stage,” said Laura Elorde, wife of Da Flash, the first Filipino also enshrined into the International Boxing Hall of Fame for his feat as the longest-reigning world junior lightweight champion, from 1960-67.

Taking center stage in the awards night, to be presented by the Elorde family, are Boxer of the Year co-awardees John Riel Casimero, the IBF world light flyweight champion, Jerwin Ancajas, the IBF world flyweight king and Marlon Tapales, the WBO bantamweight champion.

Also to be honored are 2016 international, regional and Philippine champions, best promoter, trainer, judge and referee, best fight of the year, most promising boxer, and best male and female amateur boxers.

Citations and special awards will be presented to individuals and institutions who have contributed to the growth of the sport.

The Awards Night, held in conjunction with the 82nd birth anniversary of the legendary world champion, is sponsored by COBRA, Hapee Toothpaste, Philippine Amusements & Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) Southpaw Bar & Grill, Cast & Frame, Elorde Sports Center & Bai & Mig Party Favors. (D. Secuya, Philboxing)