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PXC 49: ALVAREZ EN ROUTE DESPITE TYPHOON

With three days before weigh-ins, MMA fighters usually focus on weight cuts, mental preparation and light workouts. For Saipan’s Shane ‘Pikaboo’ Alvarez, the focus was more on recovery after Typhoon Soudelor devastated the CNMI on Sunday. With all things considered, Alvarez will make it to Guam to fight in PXC 49.

By Jay Leon Guerrero

Shane Alvarez (yellow) working ground game with teammate Chris 'No Luv' Layug. (courtesy photo)

Shane Alvarez (yellow) working his ground game with teammate Chris ‘No Luv’ Layug. (courtesy photo)

With three days before weigh-ins, MMA fighters usually focus on weight cuts, mental preparation and light workouts. For Saipan’s Shane ‘Pikaboo’ Alvarez, the focus was more on recovery after Typhoon Soudelor devastated the CNMI on Sunday.

The 21-year-old Alvarez (10-2 MMA, 3-1 PXC) said the typhoon really hit the Mariana Islands hard and instead of getting a good sweat and training, he was with his family as they worked on repairs from Soudelor’s wrath. Alvarez is scheduled to fight in PXC 49 this Friday at the Calvo Field House in a flyweight bout.

“I wanted to get to the gym, but everything is closed. There is no power here and our gym (Trench Tech) received some damage,” said Alvarez.

According to his father and trainer, Cuki Alvarez, they are supposed to head to Guam on Tuesday but he was still uncertain because the airport is closed in Saipan. “I’m just hoping we can get there on time,” said Cuki. (UPDATE: Alvarez was able to leave Saipan Tuesday evening. The same day the FAA opened the runway at the Saipan airport)

Despite the damage, Pikaboo remained confident that he will be ready for the fight on friday.

“This weight cut has been really good, I’m on a liquid-type diet and I’m cutting weight the right way this time around.”

Alvarez will be fighting Philippine fighter Jessie Rafols (8-4 MMA, 0-0 PXC) who is one of the best from his country in the submission game. Nicknamed ‘The Finisher’, Rafols has stopped 7-of-8 opponents via submission. ‘Pikaboo’ was amused by his opponents nickname and simply said “he won’t finish me, that’s for sure.”

“Of course, I want to keep the fight at a stand-up so I’ve been working on my takedown defense. My teammate was originally supposed to fight him, but an injury caused him to pull out. When things didn’t work out with my opponent, the people at PXC matched me up against Rafols,” said Alvarez.

Alvarez has been working diligently in his training camp with his teammates from Trench Tech, his teammates who were scheduled to fight in PXC 49 were Vince Masga and Chris Layug.

Alvarez’ last fight against Darren Uyenoyama was a learning experience, his first loss in the PXC ‘Terror Dome’, to the former UFC fighter by TKO via strikes. Alvarez said it was a huge honor to go against Uyenoyama and he learned so much from the experience.

“I really learned to not hold anything back, I really could have been more aggressive in that fight. I also learned to give the refs a thumbs up so he doesn’t think I’m too hurt,” joked Alvarez.

Alvarez hopes to thrill the crowd and urges those who have yet to buy PXC tickets to secure their attendance.

“This card is still stacked, we have very good Island Warriors scheduled to fight. We will do our best to come out on top, thank you to PXC for putting us up against really good off-island talent,” said Alvarez.

Shane Alvarez sparring and hitting mitts with teammate Vince Masga in preparation for PXC 49. (courtesy photo)

Shane Alvarez sparring and hitting mitts with teammate Vince Masga in preparation for PXC 49. (courtesy photo)

“I’m also glad that our teammate Frank ‘The Crank’ Camacho is on the same card. All of us at Trench Tech look up to him as our idol, we have so much respect for him.”

Alvarez said that his father will be his main cornerman and he is hoping Camacho will be able to help out as well. His brother, Alverick, will also accompany him in his 11th career professional fight. According to ‘Pikaboo’, he fought his first fight at the age of 14 as an amatuer.

“I’d like to thank my family, my girlfriend, my brother Alverick, teammates Vince Masga and Jordan Manglona and all the fans out there that motivate me to do what I do.”

Alvarez also thank his sponsors which are Trench Tech, FISG (Financial Insurance Services Group), and Roil Soil. General admission tickets are on sale at all Circle K 76 locations, Andersen ITT and MWR, VIP tickets are available only at Cars Plus in
Maite.

Did you know?

As a youth, ‘Pikaboo’ was a die hard motocross racer. The Alvarez clan, which included his siblings and cousins, enjoyed racing their dirt bikes at the annual Smokin’ Wheels events.

“Those were really fun times that I will never forget,” said Alvarez. Because he is now involved in MMA, Alvarez said he does not ride competitively but one day he wants to return to riding.

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DID U KNOW?

Frank ‘The Crank’ Camacho was a competitive youth golfer in Saipan with dreams of making it to the PGA.

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