A pillar in modern-day boxing bids goodbye.
The ALA Boxing, a pillar in modern-day boxing in the country, announced Tuesday night that it is closing shop after honing some of the best Filipino pugs for the past 35 years.
"After 35 years, ALA Boxing (ALA Promotions and ALA Gym) would like to say farewell and thank you to our supporters from all over the world," the statement from ALA Boxing said.
A brainchild of Cebu City-based sportsman Tony Aldeguer, ALA became one of the premier local boxing stables, grooming the likes of Gerry Peñalosa, Donnie Nietes, Rey Bautista, and AJ Banal among others.
However, two major twists of fate over the past few months led to the company’s shutdown.
"The pandemic and the closure of our long-time broadcast partner ABS-CBN has affected the overall situation and the future of the company," it said.
While the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) factor is a given, the ABS-CBN not being granted a franchise by the House of Representatives turned out to be the "haymaker" on ALA as the network has made the stable's flagship fight card series "Pinoy Pride" available on national television, leading to huge dividends.
The ALA Boxing made possible Bautista's big night in his native province of Bohol, where about 30,000 people watched him live.
It also brought world title bouts to Cebu, such as the Z. Gorres-Fernando Montiel bout at the Cebu City Sports Complex and the Banal-Rafael Concepcion showdown at the Cebu Coliseum.
The ALA also helped promote NonitoDonaire's previous bouts at home, highlighted by Pinoy Pride 30: D-Day at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City in 2015 and another fight card back at the Cebu City Sports Complex a year later.
"All these memorable events and accomplishments would have not been possible without all of you, the past and present ALA boxers, the trainers, the office staff, the media, the fans, the boxing organizations, sponsors, and our boxing family from all over the world," the boxing company said.
“We would like to thank you all from the bottom of our hearts for all your support for the past 35 memorable years. We cannot ask for more.”
Meanwhile, Games and Amusements Board chairman BahamMitra called the ALA Boxing closure "a big dent to the boxing world in the Philippines."
"The closure of ALA is sad news for the sports industry," Mitra said. "Their group will be sorely missed. We hope that new promoters with similar dedication in the boxing industry can fill in for ALA's absence."*PNA
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