Boxing: Aston Palicte preparing for WBO Title Eliminator Bout alongside Manny Pacquiao

ABS-CBN Sports on Jan 04, 2019 10:35 AM
Aston Palicte training alongside Manny Pacquiao in LA
Filipino boxer Aston Palicte (second from right) is training alongside Manny Pacquiao (second from left) in Los Angeles, California, as he prepares for a WBO title eliminator bout in late January. (Photo courtesy of Steve Angeles on Twitter: @StevieAngeles)

After failing to capture a world title in his first attempt in 2018, Filipino boxer Aston "Mighty" Palicte is already on the road back to world title contention. 

The 27-year old native of Bago City, Negros figured in a split draw against Donnie "Ahas" Nietes for the WBO Super Flyweight World Championship back in September of 2018. 

On January 31st, Palicte will face undefeated Mexican boxer Jose Martinez in San Diego, California in what will be a WBO Super Flyweight World Championship title eliminator bout, with the winner likely getting a crack at Nietes, who recently captured the WBO's 115-pound title after defeating Japan's Kazuto Ioka via split decision in Macau on New Year's Eve. 

In preparation for his upcoming bout, Palicte has spent the holidays training in the United States, in the process sacrificing his Christmas and New Year breaks with his family in order to sharpen his tools. 

"Ngayon, sabi ko kailangan ko pag-handaan yung mga mali ko dati, yung mga kulang ko dati, kailangan ko nang baguhin, kaya pumunta ako ng maaga, kahit dito na ako mag-Christmas, mag-New Year, wala na muna," Palicte told ABS-CBN's Steve Angeles. 

Palicte says that he's grateful that his family, especially his wife, is nothing but understanding and supportive of the sacrifices that need to be made. 

"Masaya ako doon kasi, kahit wala ako sa pamilya ko, nakakausap ko lang sila, unang-una doon, masaya ako sa asawa ko kasi supportive talaga yung asawa ko, kahit dati."

Palicte may be away from his loved ones for now, but the WBO title contender takes solace in the fact that he isn't going through the experience alone. In fact, he has been training alongside one of the sport's greats in eight-division world champion Manny Pacquiao, who's also getting ready for his own fight, a WBA (Regular) Welterweight World Championship defense against Adrien Broner on January 22. 

"Parang pareho kami ni Sentator Manny, may laban din siya so kumbaga hindi ako nag-iisa na walang Christmas, walang New Year, kahit siya nararanasan niya rin yun ngayon," Palicte said. 

As for what he's learned while training with a boxing legend like Pacquiao, Palicte says that it's mainly about making sacrifices. 

"Sacrifice talaga, kailangan mong i-sacrifice lahat dahil trabaho eh, ito yung trabaho ko eh. Dun ko nakikita sa kanya na yung focus niya doon sa boxing,"

"Wala siyang iniisip na Pasko o New Year, basta may laban ka. Yun yung nakikita ko sa kanya, seryoso siya sa ginagawa niya," Palicte continued. 

Palicte won't only be sacrificing the holidays, but also his and his wife's birthdays. Palicte turns 28 on January 25th, six days before the fight. 

Both Palicte and Pacquiao are putting in work at the famed Wild Card Boxing Gym in Los Angeles, owned and operated by none other than Hall of Fame boxing trainer Freddie Roach. 

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