HERO’S WELCOME. General Santos City Administrator Shandee Llido-Pestaño, who represented City Mayor Lorelie Geronimo-Pacquiao, welcomes the 23-year-old boxer Davemark Apolinario at the mayor’s office Wednesday afternoon (Aug. 10, 2022). Pestaño lauded Apolinario for bringing honor to the country and the city. (Photo courtesy of GenSan CIO)

KORONADAL CITY – General Santos City has given International Boxing Organization (IBO) flyweight champion Davemark “The Dobermann” Apolinario a “hero’s welcome,” the City Information Office (CIO) said Thursday.

The CIO said General Santos City Administrator Shandee Llido-Pestaño, who represented Mayor Lorelie Geronimo-Pacquiao, welcomed Wednesday afternoon the 23-year-old boxer, who claimed the title of IBO flyweight champion last July after defeating South African Gideon Buthelezi via a first-round knockout.

The match was held at the International Convention Center in East London, South Africa.

Pestaño encouraged Apolinario to stay healthy and continue being disciplined to bring more honors not only to General Santos City but also to the country.

She also advised him to continue "being humble, and stay true to being living proof that the city is the home of the champions.

Apolinario now holds a record of 17 wins with zero losses as a professional boxer.

Sonnie Sombrio, the city’s sports officer, also expressed delight in the winning streak of Apolinario, who was born in Maasim, Sarangani, but lives most of his life in General Santos City.

“We have proven time and again that General Santos City is the producer of world-class boxers,” Sombrio told reporters, pointing out that the mayor's brother-in-law, former Senator and 8-division champion Manny Pacquiao, is a legend that brought honors to the city.

The City Council is expected to pass a resolution commending Apolinario and give him cash incentives. (PNA)