The times are a-changing once said a great poet by the name of Bob Dylan, however, this time it hits home with the ALA Boxing Group announcing its closure.
Over the past 35 years, the ALA Boxing Group has made a name for itself on the national stage by promoting fights in the Philippines, the Middle East, and the United States. In addition to promotions, the ALA has also opened gyms across the Philippines and taught many young Filipinos how to box at the amateur and professional levels.
2020 has already been a whirlwind year with the coronavirus pandemic, earthquakes, and other natural disasters. Now to add fuel to the fire, the ALA Boxing Group has announced that due to the pandemic’s losses, they will be forced to hang their gloves and close their gyms. The Games and Amusement Board’s chairman Baham Mitra said that the loss of ALA Boxing is a significant loss for the local sports industry and hopes the business can beat the count. Below is the official statement released on the ALA Promotions Facebook page.
Official Statement of ALA Boxing (ALA Promotions and ALA Gym )
The ALA was founded by Antonio L. Aldeguer (ALA), a boxer, businessman, and philanthropist from the Philippines’ Cebu area. What started as a dream soon turned into a gym in 1985 with ALA teaching school-age kids how to box. In 2006, the business was passed on to his son Michael P. Aldeguer, and from there, the ALA grew into the international powerhouse that it is today.
Boxing has long been widespread across the Philippines thanks to the many great fighters who have originated from the islands. The sport is so popular that in addition to regional and international boxing events, the ALA launched “Pinoy Pride” boxing events that would eventually be broadcast internationally. The Pinoy Pride boxing series was broadcast on ABS-CBN and generated substantial revenue for the ALA Boxing Group. The ABS-CBN Network could not renew its franchise license earlier in 2020 and has since gone off the air.
Betting on boxing and other combat sports including mixed martial arts has not slowed down due to COVID-19; however, it took a few weeks before main events were announced after the Coronavirus was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization. Since then, big fights such as Wilder vs. Fury 3, Israel Adesanya vs. Yoel Romero (UFC), and Kamaru Usman vs. Jorge Masvidal (UFC), have all taken place and broadcast online for the world to see.
Other boxing events are rumored to take place during the pandemic as well include Mike Tyson vs. Roy Jones Jr. The Tyson vs. Jones fight will be an exhibition fight that will feature other exhibition matchups, including Jake Paul (YouTube star) vs. Nate Robinson (ex-NFL Player).
Despite the closure of the ALA Boxing Group, the sport will live on through the athletes and fans. There is still hope that someone will save the business or take over the gym locations, but, in the meantime, there are other options available for fighters looking to take their skill to the next level.