Sabaupan Retains IBF Pan Pacific Lightweight Title
11 Jul 2010
The fight was the first defense of Al Sabaupan, (13W-0L-1D-10KOs) of the IBF Pan Pacific Lightweight Title.
Sabaupan is a member of the formidable Touchgloves Boxing Gym based in Agoncillo, Batangas, under the tutelage and guidance of the Anuran brothers, Elmer and Danny.
Editor's Note: The Sabaupan-Wonpichit bout was one of the undercards of the Viloria-Soto fight Saturday night, July 10, in Pasay City, Philippines.
During the official weigh-in a day before fight night, the defending champion weighed in at a perfectly-cut 133 ½ lbs., while the Thai came in very bulky, being 5 lbs. overweight
of the 135 lbs. limit Sabaupan is a boxer who started his career with raw power and has developed his boxing technique through the years.
Wonpichit Twins Gym (12W-2L-11KOs), who is called the “Fighting Machine”, is fighting in his first assignment outside Thailand. This writer had the opportunity to be one of the judges assigned for the IBF Championship fight.
As the bell rang to start the first round, I was ready to score a very competitive fight between 2 bright prospects.
The first round is almost always a feeling out process for a 12-round championship fight with each fighter measuring his opponent and in the process looking for the other’s strengths and weaknesses. Twinsgym was ready to do just that but Sabaupan defied the normal championship process and started like a house on fire from the first bell. He threw powerful punches towards his lanky opponent. The Thai, overwhelmed by the onrushing Filipino, tried to fend it off by throwing left jabs. All of a sudden, a thunderous right hook from Sabaupan landed flush to the jaw of Twinsgym, sending the latter crashing to the canvas. American Referee Gene Del Bianco counted up to 10 with Twinsgym stayed down. The official time was 2:10 in the first round. In effect, Sabaupan retained his IBF Pan Pacific Lightweight Title via an exciting first round knockout route.
The Anuran brothers handling the career of Sabaupan informed this writer that they are planning to arrange a title defense for him sometime in September and maybe another one before the year ends, both against formidable foreign opponents. If both assignments will be won by Sabaupan, he will climb to the rankings of the IBF. Then, if everything will fall into its place, the Batangas-based banger will challenge for the
prestigious IBF Lightweight Championship.
The championship tussle was supervised by the Director of the IBF/USBA, Ray Wheatley, who is a true gentleman from Australia. After the fight, Wheatley expressed to me his appreciation towards Filipino boxers. He is impressed not only about their
skills, but more importantly, to their fighting heart. For this reason, he plans to give more opportunities to Filipinos to fight and be rated in the IBF.
(The writer is a lawyer by profession and a Professional Boxing Referee and Judge licensed by the Games and Amusements Board or GAB)
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