By NICK GIONGCO
Juan Miguel Elorde is unfazed by the tremendous odds surrounding his quest to dethrone Emanuel Navarrete as World Boxing Organization (WBO) super-bantamweight king this Saturday in Las Vegas.
During Tuesday’s open workout, Elorde expressed confidence that he will stun the crowd at the T-Mobile Arena and “bring the WBO championship back to the Philippines.”
“I accepted this fight without hesitation,” said Elorde, 32, the massive underdog.
Elorde’s team politely declined to say how much they are going to be paid but an industry source told the Bulletin that they are getting $100,000.
Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum, whose Top Rank Inc. is staging this weekend’s show, was looking for an opponent for Navarrete and stumbled on the unheralded Filipino, ranked No. 2 in the 122-lb division.
Arum is showcasing Navarrete since it is Mexican Independence weekend and featuring a Mexican fighter is a tradition.
Elorde was busy training when the Top Rank call came and the grandson of Flash Elorde immediately expressed interest in challenging the formidable and vastly experienced Navarrete.
On paper, the two are evenly matched.
Navarrete holds a 28-1 record with 24 KOs while Elorde sports a 28-1 with 15 KOs.
If victorious, Elorde will join Manny Pacquiao, Nonito Donaire, Jerwin Ancajas and Pedro Taduran as the country’s world champions.