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Losing ONE heavyweight degree at home is not an option for Brandon Vera

Losing ONE heavyweight degree at home is not an option for Brandon Vera

Joey Villar (philstar.com) – November 20, 2018 – 6:53 pm

MANILA, Philippines – Brandon Vera said he would rather die than lose on local soil to Mauro Cerilli Italy in the much-anticipated defense of his heavyweight title in the main event ONE: Champions Conquest at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City on Friday.

"I would rather die than lose in front of the Philippines," Vera said at a news conference on Tuesday at the Grand Ballroom of the City of Dreams.

"Hindi ko is rich, hindi is rich (I can't, really can't)," he added.

Vera, 41, had to deal not only with Cerilli, the heavyweight champion CAGE Warriors who had won her last five matches including four through KO to raise her impressive record to 12-2 (win-lose), but also rust after being laid off for two years.

Video by Erwin Cagadas / Philstar.com

But Vera, who had slate 15-7, quickly refused.

"I was just nervous because this was my first fight in two years but it was rusty, no. If anything, I think it will disappear when the Cerilli hits me. But I will be very ready, "Vera said.

For 35-year-old Cerilli, she is only grateful that she was given the opportunity to compete with legends like Vera.

"A few years ago, I couldn't imagine I would be here to fight legendary fighters like Brandon Vera. And getting this opportunity is a blessing for me. I hope I fulfill your expectations and make a name here, "Cerilli said through an interpreter.

Another Filipino, Eduard Folayang, will come out to be redeemed after he lost his light title at the same place where he was scheduled to fight Amir Khan from Singapore.

Video by Erwin Cagadas / Philstar.com

The 34-year-old Folayang, who has a record of 20-6, raced to the top with Shinya Aoki Japan and claimed a light title two years ago before losing to Martin Nguyen in front of a Filipino audience a year ago.

"This is a difficult road for me after losing it, but I have worked hard to get that opportunity again," said Folayang, who also tried to join with fellow countrymen Vera, Joshua Pacio (straw) Kevin Belingon (bantam) and Geje Eustaquio ( fly) as the stable champion of ONE at the moment.

Video by Erwin Cagadas / Philstar.com

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