Laurente faces stiff assignment in Baconaje next month

UNBEATEN former amateur standout Criztian Pitt Laurente is featured in the latest edition of Manny Pacquiao’s “Blow by Blow” show on Feb. 27 against one of his toughest competition to date, Arnel Baconaje, at the Lagao Gym in General Santos City.

The 23-year-old Laurente has blossomed into one of the most promising prospects from the Philippines.

Laurente, a former Philippine youth national team member, had an impressive 2022, winning all three of his fights against the likes of Vicente Casido, previously unbeaten Richard Bulacan and veteran JR Magboo.

Laurente also owns wins over former world title challenger Ernesto Saulong and experienced Ernie Sanchez.

Laurente will be tested against a hard-hitting fighter who is at the peak of his career in Baconaje.

The 29-year-old Baconaje is a former World Boxing Council (WBC) Asian Boxing Council Silver featherweight champion. He owns wins over Tomjune Mangubat, ex-ALA Boy Brian Lobetania and former Manny Pacquiao sparring partner Leonardo Doronio.

Baconaje, however, lost his last fight, a majority decision defeat in the hands of Vietnamese Hong Quan Dinh in an International Boxing Federation (IBF) Asia lightweight bout in Vietnam last December. He’s eager to bounce back and derail the surging career of Laurente.

Laurente is 11-0 with seven knockouts, while Baconaje is 15-6 with 11 knockouts.

In the undercard, Jerven Mama (12-2-1, 7 KOs) locks horns with Ruben Davidas (8-2, 4 KOs); Judy Flores (11-1, 7 KOs) slugs it out with former world title challenger Jonathan Taconing (29-6-1, 22 KOs); Jayson Brillo (5-0-1, 4 KOs) faces off with Jayson Francisco (5-3, 1 KO); Kenneth Egano (5-1, 2 KOs) is up against Jeager Bereno (3-2-3); John May Acope (3-1-1, 1 KO) squares off with Dennis Gaviola (1-1-2); Alven Vergara (5-0-1, 4 KOs) takes on Pepito Masangkay (1-0, 1 KO); Bryl Bayogos (3-0-1) is fighting Albert Parilla (2-0, 2 KOs); and Nilo Entero (3-0-1) opens up the show against Marlon Alejandro (2-3-1). (EKA)