September 30, 2023


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Next Boxing Superstar - Bryan James Wild

Bryan James Wild (black short) delivers a right cross punch to the face of Lenjun Retuerto and dominates their fight. - Allan Defensor


With no less than world boxing champion Sen. Manny Pacquiao and Gerry Penalosa involved in selecting them, a boxing reality show dubbed “Next Boxing Superstar” was launched in Cebu yesterday.

A brainchild by Penalosa, the boxing reality tv show will have qualifiers from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao and they will be picked by Penalosa and Pacquiao. “Mag-uusap sila ni Senator Manny sino ang mag ka-qualify so pipili silang dalawa ni Sir Gerry,” Cathrina Gayos of the GerryPens Promotions told sport-scribes inside the Cebu City Sports Complex where the try-outs were made.

Gayos said after the Cebu try-outs, another one will be held in Davao and the last will be in Manila to determine all the qualifiers on the national finals based on the choices of Pacquiao and Penalosa.

Penalosa for his part said he is excited about the project as he sees many potentials in the field. “Nindot gyud ni kay nakita nato ang mga potential, mga future superstars nato,” Penalosa told

The Cebu select boxers were carefully chosen by Penalosa’s elder brother, Dodie Boy, who like him, was also former two time world boxing champion. Coach Nonoy Neri of MP Promotions will select the boxers from Davao while renowned matchmaker Art Monis will do it in Manila.

Among the impressive boxers that participated is Bryan James Wild, a 17 year-old southpaw from the Wild Boxing Stable of American boxing coach John Wild.

The young boxer knocked down his two previous opponents as professional boxer, where in his debut fight, he disposed of Wilbert Rota in the very first round of their four-round match in Robinsons Galeria Cebu last December 22.

The other casts included Jim Paul Dignos, Arian Melgo, John Paul Gabunilas, April Jay Abne, Rolly Durong and Eduardo Jimenez for the flyweight division. Aside from Wild, the remaining boxers for the bantamweights were Rimon Rama, George Pasculado, Rafael Sueno, Kenan John Villaflor, and Lenjun Retuerto.

The boxing reality show is closely similar to “The Contender” in the United States of America where action star Sylvester Stallone and former world boxing champion Sugar Ray Leonard were among its hosts. ESPN5 will air all the fights and the life stories of the chosen boxers on a delayed basis every Sunday until August this year.

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