‘Boom’ to defend title vs Russian

Roman “Sonic Boom” Alvarez works the bag in this file photo while training at the TrenchTech Gym in Garapan. Alvarez will be making his second defense of the featherweight title against Russian Andrei “The Venus Project” Zaitsev in next month’s Rites of Passage 23: Beatdown. (Jon Perez)

Roman “Sonic Boom” Alvarez will be making his second defense of the 145-lb title belt when he faces Andrei “The Venus Project” Zaitsev in the featured main event in Rites of Passage 23: Beatdown set on April 27 at the Marianas Business Plaza.

Alvarez (6-1, 3 knockouts) got the featherweight crown when he knocked out former champ Robert Wusstig in Trench Warz 18: Rock and Rumble in December 2014 and avenged the loss of his cousin, Shane, to the fighter out of Guam. Wusstig (7-10, 2 KOs) defeated Shane “Pikaboo” Alvarez (12-5, 3 KOs) by split decision in Trench Warz 15: Supremacy on Dec. 16, 2011 to clinch the flyweight belt for his third win in eight matches.

Roman Alvarez then successfully defended the title after beating Guam’s Robin Eclavea (1-3) by rear-naked-choke submission in the semi main event of a 13-fight card in ROP 22: Rampage last Sept. 15, 2017.

While Roman Alvarez is aiming to extend his reign in the division, Zaitsev, on the other hand, is still looking for his first win after three matches with all of his losses—against Mikhail Korobkov, Yadong Song, and Nikita Podlubniy—ending up by unanimous decisions.

He made his debut against Korobkov in ProFC 58: Battle of Champions on Nov. 8, 2015 in Russia and fought for the second time a few months after that loss when he faced Song in WLF-EPIC: Elevation Power in Cage last January 2016 in Henan, China. Zaitsev remained unlucky against Podlubniy, losing in MFP Amur Challenge 9 at the Grand Arena Ostrova, Blagoveshchensk Russia.

Meanwhile, ROP 23: Rampage will also feature two boxing matches, two kickboxing fights, and 10 other MMA bouts with “Pikaboo” also set to climb the cage against a still unnamed Korean warrior at 135 lbs.

TrenchTech founder Cuki Alvarez said the fight card is tentative and is still subject to changes, depending on the availability of each fighter.

Guam’s Jason Henderson will face TrenchTech’s Nick Cruz in a boxing match, while Jom Ibo is still shopping for an opponent at 145 lbs.

GuamMuayThai’s Tonisha “Queen T” Cruz and Eric Lacambra will take on Jessme Jones and Atiron Norita in separate boxing matches, a preview for the 10-card MMA fights.

RedAntsAcademy’s JBoy Langu will duel Steel Athletics’ Angel Oliveras, while Zombie MMA’s Manny “The Kid” Camacho will take on GMT’s Don Lujan, and Team Tinian’s Austin John King will clash with TrenchTech’s Andres “The Tanapag Beach Bad Boy” Camacho.

TrenchTech’s Wildon Camacho and Ken Evans challenge Greg “Peskadude” Sasamoto and Sitchiro Langu, respectively, while Young Sam Son of Korean Top Team will test the mettle of Ryan “Trobz” Ngirbabul in a light heavyweight showdown.

Mark “The Dark” Nuique hopes to end a string of three straight losses when he collides with GMT’s Austin Petrus, while Vince “The Clinch” Masga battles Shang Hyun Park of Team ACE Korea.

Roland Meno, Corey San Nicolas, Vince Torres, Misaki Kitami, Napu Reyes, Josh Muna, Austin Gaspay, Kyle Gumataotao, and Bradlee Manalili are all standby fighters with Cuki Alvarez still looking for their respective opponents.

Jon Perez | Reporter
Jon Perez began his writing career as a sports reporter in the Philippines where he has covered local and international events. He became a news writer when he joined media network ABS-CBN. He joined the weekly DAWN, University of the East’s student newspaper, while in college.

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