ALA Boxing bids farewell after 35 years, to release all its fighters

ALA Boxing, which is comprised of the ALA Promotions and gym, bid farewell Tuesday after 35 years in the business.

The promotion said in a statement that the COVID-19 pandemic and the non-renewal of the franchise of broadcast partner ABS-CBN are the main reasons for its closure.

Established in 1985, ALA had been considered home by some of the country's finest prize fighters, including world champions Donnie Nietes, Milan Melindo, Arthur Villanueva, and famed coach Edito "Ala" Villamor.

"All our fighters will be released so they can look for greener pastures for their respective careers," the statement read.

The promotion rose to prominence in the 1990s after holding successful fights featuring Villamor and Gerry Peñalosa.

ALA, along with ABS-CBN Sports, had been regularly producing the Pinoy Pride special since 2010, a stacked boxing card featuring established and up-and-coming boxers against foreigners.

Some of its most successful shows include the 30th iteration, which featured Nietes, the longest-reigning Filipino boxing world champion, and Nonito Donaire in a single card at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum in 2015.

It had also formed partnerships with US-based promotions Golden Boy and Top Rank on various occasions.

ALA and Golden Boy produced the "Battle of Cebu" in 2008, which saw Z Gorres conquer Mexican Fernando Montiel in front of 25,000 spectators at the Cebu City Sports Complex, and a showdown between Filipino and Mexican pugilists in Sacramento, California.

The promotion owned by Tony Aldeguer along with his son Michael closed their message by thanking all who helped their business become successful for almost four decades.

"All these memorable events and accomplishments would not have been possible without all of you. The past and present ALA boxers, the trainers, the office staff, the media, the fans, the boxing organizations, sponsors, and our boxing family from all over the world."

"We would like to thank you all very much from the bottom of our hearts for all your support for the past 35 years. We cannot ask for more," the statement closed.