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By Ronnie Nathanielsz

Emerging ring sensation Rey “Boom Boom” Bautista shuns being compared to Filipino ring idol Manny Pacquiao but he was surprised to hear Oscar De La Hoya introduce him as “ a fighter who is considered the next Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines” at the pre-fight news conference for Bautista’s clash with Brazilian super bantamweight champion Giovanni Andrade on Sunday.

In introducing the undefeated 20 year old from Candijay, Bohol, De La Hoya said “nothing can get bigger than this.” In his response Bautista who spoke in fluent English said he was back after a long layoff and that nothing would hold him back from a good showing against Andrade at the St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa, Florida in a fight that will be telecast by Solar Sports beginning at 10:00 a.m.

Bautista thanked his promoter Oscar De La Hoya of Golden Boy Promotions as well as the fans and assured them “I am ready to go, ready to rumble. I will try my best to give you a great performance.”

Prior to the press conference Bautista weighed six-tenths of a pound over the 122 pound limit after a 30 minute run outside the Hyatt Hotel where he is billeted. After the presscon Bautista worked out in the hotel gym where he was on the treadmill for 15 minutes before blasting the punch mitts for two rounds and doing two rounds of shadow boxing.

Bautista has a record of 20-0 with 15 knockouts while Andrade parades a record of 52-9 with 43 KO’s and as though reflecting his handlers confidence has scheduled a World Boxing Commission title fight against Reginaldo Martins Carvalho on January 28 next year.
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