Filipino Vincent "Asero" Astrolabio, a fighter who trains in the Manny Pacquiao Boxing Gym, has a very tough mission ahead of him.

Plans are taking shape for the Astrolabio to face former world champion and complicated southpaw veteran "The Jackal" Guillermo Rigondeaux on Saturday, Feb 26, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.  

Can Astrolabio pull off the big win? His long-time coach, the experienced Nonoy Neri of Davao ’s MP Boxing Gym, says yes.

The hard-swinging General Santos City native, Astrolabio (16-3, 12 KO's), gets the biggest break in his pro boxing career when he battles the crafty Cuban 2-time Olympic gold medalist at Dubai's Marina.

Their 12-rounder would be for the vacant WBC International bantamweight belt – jointly promoted by Phuc An Nguyen in association with Brico Santig of the Highland Boxing Team – and the bout has already been approved by Mauro Betti, who is Vice President of the WBC as well as chairman of the WBC International Committee.

"Astrolabio is much younger, has a power punch and a big heart," said MP Boxing Gym coach Nonoy Neri, the man who together with Freddie Roach and Buboy Fernandez helped train Filipino superstar Manny Pacquiao.

Rigondeaux clearly outclassed and outsmarted the brilliant “Filipino Flash” Nonito Donaire, not an easy thing to do; but he did, and we all remember that.

But that was nearly 9 years ago.   

However, even though some of his fights have been suffocatingly boring – such as his split decision loss to John Riel Casimero last August – Rigondeaux's boxing ability is undeniably top-notch. 

But at 41, Rigondeaux (20-2, 13 KO’s), is far from his prime.

The Cuban stylist confirmed that he's training hard for the fight.

"We're back and we're coming with a lot of enthusiasm, you know my thing is boxing," said Rigondeaux to George Ebro. "I don't know where this new chapter in my career is going to take me, but I'm excited and I'm training very hard for this fight."

The author Carlos Costa can be reached via whatsapp +63918453952 and