How much do they love boxing in the Philipinnes?
When newly crowned IBO flyweight champion Dave “The Doberman” Apolinario (17-0, 12 KOs) arrived back in Manila on Wednesday, he was greeted with a hero’s welcome. Apolinario went straight to Malacanang Palace where he was personally greeted by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.
Mind you, this celebration is for winning an IBO belt, which is not one of the four major sanctioning bodies. Nevertheless, Apolinario is currently the country’s lone current world boxing champion and he’s getting the full treatment.
“I cannot contain my happiness right now,” said Apolinario. “I was ecstatic after winning the belt in South Africa but being greeted and congratulated by my president is another thing. This is the best thing that happened in my life. I promise to work harder and get the other belts.”