Friday, April 26, 2019

Apr 08 19, 2:33 pm

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2 Pinays top frontrunners in reality amateur boxing show

by | sports

Apr. 08, 19 | 2:33 pm

DUBAI: Two overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), a piano teacher and a receptionist who smashed the show’s “Death by Burpees” record, are among 24 fighters slugging it out in two teams for the much-awaited Fighting Fit Dubai Fight Night happening April 26 at Zabeel House by Jumeirah, The Greens and to be streamed on ESPN.com, viewed by a global audience of 3.2 million.

Liezl Talaver, the piano teacher whose family came to Dubai 24 years ago; and Danisel R. Maranan, the events management company receptionist who left her career as a PE teacher to get a stab at Dubai’s promise of a better place, found themselves training hard for the fights – their way out of a monotonous life.

Talaver’s and Maranan’s kin have been hesitant, if not apprehensive, of their decision to join the reality show. If it’s any consolation, Talaver said she has the full support of her siblings who “believe they deserve some credit because I’ve already had good experience from our daily sibling brawls, when we were younger.”

Both ladies likewise have no qualms fighting in the ring despite boxing having been known to be a male-dominated domain.

“I don’t believe there is a gender-label on any sport or on anything. I originally decided to take up boxing for self-defense.I turned to boxing as an outlet to keep me present and grounded,” said Talaver, who currently is working on her start-up business.

For her part, Maranan, daughter of a tricycle driver back home whose wife works as an OFW in Japan, said she took up boxing because she is “the kind of person who wants to try everything if given the chance.”

“I like extremes,” said Maranas who, as a kid, liked action anime, with her all-time favorite being Ippo Makunouchi.

Their boxing influence? Sen. Manny Pacquiao.

For ladies wanting to get out of their comfort zone by following the two’s footsteps with the award-winning Fighting Fit Dubai, here’s the word from Maranan: “If you want to change something, don’t just dream of it, make it happen. It is always good to challenge yourself because I believe in the saying that goes ‘If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you.’”

And for those wishing to go into boxing, here’s Talaver’s piece: “Don’t think you’re not capable of something. And don’t hesitate because of other people’s opinions, beliefs, or social standards. Stand out. Don’t get lost in the crowd. Never ever blend in.”

Conceptualized, filmed and produced entirely in the UAE, the reality show follows a diverse group of UAE residents between the ages of 25-57, as they train in the art of boxing over six weeks for the chance to compete for glory and to be named Fighting Fit Dubai Champions on one final Fight Night. From trials, two teams of six people and 12 reserves were selected, with teams facing weekly challenges and showdowns in the ring, not only fighting for glory but for their chance to stay in the show.

Those who want to catch our Pinay contenders in action live can attend Fight Night on April 26th at Zabeel House by Jumeirah, The Greens. Tickets on sale now on www.espn.com/fightingfitdubai and PlatinumList for an unforgettable night of boxing, drama and triumph!

All episodes can be viewed at www.espn.com/fightingfitdubai.


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THE FILIPINO TIMES is the biggest and most trusted Filipino newspaper in the UAE.

It has a print run of 60,000 copies and 250,000 readership per week; bolstered by 1 million visitors to its website every month. It also has an e-newsletter sent to its 250,000 subscribers every day.

The Filipino Times is FREE and has the widest targeted circulation across the 7 emirates of the UAE.

With more than 2,500 strategic distribution spots, TFT is available where the Filipinos are - at Smart Bus Shelters, Metro Stations, restaurants, supermarkets, schools, airport lounges, Emirates and Etihad Philippine-bound flights, churches, Filipino community events and many more.

THE FILIPINO TIMES. We are where the Filipinos are.

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