Mark Bernaldez attempts to join stablemate Mike Plania in the winners circle today as he meets tall and unbeaten American Albert Bell in a scheduled 10-round lightweight bout at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
During the official weighin of the card being presented by Bob Arum’s Top Rank Inc. and supervised closely by the Nevada Athletic Commission, the 5-6 Bernaldez stepped in at 132 lbs. Bell, who has a five-inch height edge, weighed in at 133.
Last June 16, Plania, who fights under JC Mananquil’s SanMan Promotions, became the first Filipino boxer to return to the ring and score a victory during the coronavirus era.
Bernaldez (20-3 with 14 KOs) feels he can draw inspiration from Plania’s triumph against Bell (16-0 with 5 KOs) in this behind-closed-doors slugfest.
“Inspired ako sa panalo ni Mike,” said Bernaldez, who has been in the US since the start of the year.
Meanwhile, unheralded welterweight Reymond Yanong, fresh from becoming the second Filipino to see action during the pandemic and emerge victorious, will make a quick return to active duty on July 7, with Top Rank promoting anew.
Last June 25, Yanong, from Escalante, Negros Occidental, beat Clay Burns on a six-round split decision.
Yanong, this time, clashes with Genaro ‘El Conde’ Gamez of San Diego, California in an eight-rounder.
Top Rank tests and retests fighters and members of their teams as well as commission personnel, TV crew and Top Rank staff to ensure non-infection from COVID-19.