By Ponciano “John” Melo Jr.
LAS VEGAS, Nevada — Juan Miguel Elorde, grandson of late Filipino boxing legend Gabriel “Flash” Elorde, will try to shine under the bright lights of Sin City.
Scheduled as an undercard of the anticipated Tyson Fury-Otto Wallin heavyweight showdown, the 32-year-old kin of The Flash is set for his biggest task against Mexican Emanuel Navarrete at the T-Mobile Arena here.
And Top Rank promoter is expecting fireworks when the two promising boxers, both with 28-1 cards, collide.
“I thinks it’s gonna be a great fight. It’s a fight to remember,” said Arum during the press conference for the fight on Sunday, September 15, Philippine time.
“(Elorde’s) a really good fighter, and I think the fight’s gonna be a really sensational one because the way they both fight, the styles of both fighters. It’s a really great fight,” he added.
Asked whether the 32-year-old Elorde will outgrow his grandfather’s shadow, or event be the next Manny Pacquiao, the veteran promoter is positive that is possible.
“Well, it could be yeah. Juan Miguel Elorde hopes to follow in the footstep of his grandfather and Manny Pacquiao,” he said.
According to Arum, Gabriel Elorde is the one who started it all for Philippine boxing, saying he was the first great Filipino fighter in the United States and the first world champion.
“And his grandson is a chip off the old block, so i’m delighted to have it here in this event, I mean it’s a great honor for me to promote somebody from the Elorde Family,” said Arum.
Meanwhile, Bob Arum presented Juan Miguel an original painting of his late great grandfather by renowned artist LeRoy Neiman.
“This really moves me,” said Arum.
“I realized the great contributions the Filipinos have made to boxing. Especially Manny pacquiao, but long before him, the first Filipino to win a world championship was Gabriel Elorde,” he continued.
“In honor of that, we made a picture, of a famous painting by LeRoy Neiman, and we’re gonaa present this to his grandson,” he said while handing over the painting to Juan Mguel during a pre-fight press conference.