By Dong Secuya –
DUBAI – Filipino boxers Genesis ‘Azukal’ Servania, ‘King’ Arthur Villanueva and Rey ‘Boom-Boom’ Bautista won their respective fights against Latino opponents in the ‘Pinoy Pride XXVII – Duel in Dubai’ Friday night at the Dubai World Trade Center here to the delight of a full house mostly Filipino crowd who treated the evening’s event like a big party.
Servania’s opponent, Jose ‘Matador’ Cabrera from Mexico, quit at the beginning of the 10th round to give Servania the TKO victory and retained his WBO Intercontinental super bantamweight title. True to his monicker, Cabrera’s stance was like a matador who allowed Servania to throw the first punch before throwing his own counters. Servania, however, timed his punches perfectly and caught Cabrera with a left-right combination that sent Cabrera down to the canvas in the second round. In the third round, Servania, sensing Cabrera was hurt, continued to put pressure as he punished Cabrera with left crosses and looping rights. At the end of the round, Referee Danrex Tapdasan went to Cabrera’s corner and summoned the ring physician to check Cabrera’s condition.
It appeared that it’s only a matter of time before Servania was going to finish the Mexican. In the 4th round, as Servania continued to put on the pressure with the aim of knocking out Cabrera, the Mexican connected with some big counters that stopped Servania on his track and completely changed the complexion of the fight. In the 5th and succeeding rounds, Servania became hesitant as Cabrera’s confidence grew and suddenly Servania’s victory was put in peril. Cabrera probably took the 5th, 6th and 7th rounds before Servania came back strong in the 8th and 9th rounds putting back Cabrera on the defensive. Cabrera was deducted a point in the 8th round for excessive low blow before a clash of heads in the ninth round caused a cut under Cabrera’s left eye. At the end of the ninth round, Cabrera’s cornerman stopped the fight to give Servania a TKO victory in an anti-climactic ending. Servania was widely ahead on the three judges’ scorecards before the stoppage. Servania later said after the fight that he had suffered leg cramps by the 6th round. Servania has now upped his undefeated record to 25 wins with 11 knockouts. The ‘matador’ from Mexico has dropped to 24 wins, 5 losses and two draws.
Villanueva vs. Maldonado
In the other regional title fight, Arthur Villanueva captured the IBF International Jr Bantamweight Title by defeating Henry ‘El Crespo’ Maldonado of Nicaragua via split decision with scores of 117-110, 116-113 in favor Villanueva and 114-113 for Maldonado. After a quiet first round where both fighters had a feeling out of each other, an explosion of punches came out in the second round when Villanueva connected with a left-right combination that staggered the Nicaraguan. As Villanueva pursued, Maldonado unleashed a flurry of punches of his own that caught Villanueva and sent the Filipino to the canvas in a flash knockdown. When the fight resumed, a phone-booth battle ensued that put jampacked crowd at the edge of their seats. After the smoke of the 2nd round battle subsided, Villanueva, later admiting that Maldonado had hurt him, decided to box and transformed the fight into a battle of wits and attrition until the fight ended. Maldonado was cut in his scalp from the second round fireworks and later sustained multiple cuts in his forehead, eyebrows and the back of his head as the fight progressed. Villanueva has now improved his undefeated record to 26 wins with 14 knockouts while Maldonando dropped to 19-4-0.
The popular Boom-Boom Bautista won by majority decision against Juan Jose ‘Piquet’ Martinez of Mexico with scores of 68-65, 67-65 and 66-66 in a 10-round non-title fight. As expected, the fight developed into a slambang affair where each fighter was trying to knock each other out. Bautista however got the better of the exchanges most of the time and put Martinez to the canvas in the 5th round. Martinez also had his moments where he cut Bautista’s left eyebrow with a punch and also appeared to hurt Boom-Boom in the later rounds. In the 7th round, a clash of heads caused Bautista a deep cut in his left eyelid where blood was oozing profusely. Veteran referee Bruce McTavish summoned ring physician Rene Bonsubre to check on Bautista’s cut where Bonsube recommended to McTavish to stopped the fight. Bautista has improved his record to 36-3-0 with 26 knockouts while Martinez suffered his 2nd defeat in 21 fights.
In the undercard, local favorite Filipino Larry Abarra of the Round 10 Boxing Club of Dubai displayed pin-point punching and ring smarts to overpower and totally outbox Chatpayak Nuengkawkawhok of Thailand in a four round superbantamweight bout.
Two other Round 10 Boxing Club mainstays Deo Kizito of Uganda and Mohammad Akram of Syria also won their bouts. Kizito edged Anusher Abdullaev of Uzbekistan with scores of 38-36, 38-37 and 38-37 while Akram scored three knockdowns against Thailand’s Kong Windy Sports en route to 2nd round knockout victory.
The ALA Promotions’ and ABS-CBN’s first international boxing event on the highly popular ‘Pinoy Pride’ series was hugely successful as the 2,600 tickets printed for the event were sold-out. A few hundred people who came to the venue were not able to get in there were no more tickets available.