Laurente to face Sanchez in Gensan

UNBEATEN prospect Criztian Pitt Laurente takes on tough journeyman Ernie Sanchez on Oct. 23, 2021 in General Santos City in a crucial fight that will determine his career path in the next few years.

Two-division world champion Gerry Peñalosa, who handles Laurente’s career, believes that this fight should be a good measuring stick on where the 21-year-old former amateur star is at right now in his pro career.

“This is a big step for him. After that he’ll fight for a Philippine championship and then campaign in the United States,” Peñalosa, the owner of Gerry Pens Promotions, told SunStar Cebu.

Laurente had a tough assignment against Ernesto Saulong early in 2021. It was a competitive fight but he beat Saulong by unanimous decision. A few months later, Laurente easily disposed of Kim Lindog via a third round knockout.

Although Sanchez’s record looks mediocre, he has fought a lot of elite names the likes of unbeaten World Boxing Council (WBC) super bantamweight champion Rey Vargas, WBC featherweight king Oscar Valdez, former International Boxing Federation light welterweight Sergey Lepinets and ex-World Boxing Organization super featherweight titleholder Masayuki Ito.

The 29-year-old Sanchez lost his last four contests and is coming off a unanimous decision defeat at the hands of Tomjune Mangubat.

Laurente is 7-0 with four knockouts, while Sanchez is 19-16-1 with 10 knockouts.

If Laurente beats Sanchez and wins one more fight in the Philippines, Peñalosa will have him train and campaign in the US.

“He’ll be going to the US next year. I’ve yet to decide where he will train. (I’ll have him train with) Freddie (Roach) if he’s not busy,” he said. (EKA)