Vincent “Asero” Astrolabio doesn’t want to end up looking like a deer caught in the headlights.
After surviving a tough war with Thailand Nawaphon Kaikanha in a title elimination bout in Bangkok last August, the Filipino puncher and his chief trainer Nonoy Neri reunited in the gym immediately.
“We want to avoid a situation that will leave us with not enough time to train,” Neri said from their homebase in Davao City.
“This is not the right time to be complacent,” added Neri, who was once a vital part of Manny Pacquiao’s training team.
The hard-earned 11th-round victory over Kaikanha made Astrolabio the mandatory challenger to Mexican Alejandro Santiago’s World Boxing Council bantamweight throne.
Neri added that they were also advised by Sean Gibbons, the ever-influential American boxing man, to remain in shape even if there was still no formal announcement of the Santiago showdown.
And that’s exactly what Neri and Astrolabio did.
In fact, Astrolabio has agreed to become the main sparring partner of two-belt world super-bantamweight titlist Marlon Tapales.
The two are setting up in Baguio City as Tapales ramps up for a unification clash with Naoya Inoue on 26 December in Tokyo.
After lending a hand to Tapales, Neri and Astrolabio are going to be bound for the United States to resume training in Las Vegas.
Neri said he expects the Santiago shot to happen by January or February.
Astrolabio has a 19-4 win-loss card with 14 knockouts while Santiago totes a 28-3-5 mark with 14 knockouts, having won the vacant WBC crown with a unanimous decision over the faded Nonito Donaire last July in Las Vegas.