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By Ronnie Nathanielsz

Sat, 23 Aug 2014

Many of us involved in boxing will never understand why matchmakers and promoters stage obvious mismatches and why a government agency like the Games and Amusements Board in the Philippines sanctions them without compunction.

We recall there was a time when my good friend and former two division world champion Gerry Penalosa had a difference over some of the Thai opponents he picked for his prot?g? Michael ?Hammer Fist? Farenas who fought on our weekly boxing show ?The Main Event.?

While some fans lapped up the blatant mismatches and enjoyed Farenas putting his opponents away in a hurry, knowledgeable fight fans knew better.

We told Gerry ? and in fairness to him he took it well ? that putting patsies against such a talented, hard-hitting fighter like Farenas was a disservice to the fighter and would not help him improve and move towards a world title shot.

Penalosa, to his credit saw the merit in what we told him and upped the quality of Farenas? opponents from regular tuk-tuk drivers and circus hands from Thailand to worthy opponents capable of testing the Filipino southpaw.

His latest victim, undefeated American Mark Davis who was favored to win got the beating of his life because aware of the record and the ability of Davis, Farenas trained like never before, hungry for recognition and a world title shot.
He is now on the threshold of achieving his dream and has made the sacrifices necessary along the way.

While we understand the desire if not the need of some handlers to bring their fighters along carefully and to match them against opponents who generally are incapable of beating them but are sure to give them a reasonable challenge and in the process satisfy fight fans who don?t feel cheated.

Regrettably, an extremely talented young fighter from MP Promotions, Jerwin ?Pretty Boy? Ancajas who is the International Boxing Federation ? IBF ? International super flyweight champion with a record of 20-1-1 with 12 knockouts will figure in a main event in Davao against an Indonesian identified as Rochmad Santoso who has a misleading record of 11-3 with 6 knockouts.
It is misleading in the sense that his wins have come against certified patsies.

In fact Santoso lost his last fight by a 5th round knockout to Japan?s Taro Oikawa on December 1, 2013 whose record, according to which we concede is not always perfectly accurate, was 2-2 with 2 knockouts.

On October 1, 2013 Santoso won a 6 round unanimous decision over Delo Fernandes whose record was 1-1 and on September 14 Santoso won by a 4th round TKO over Wilson Coy who was making his debut in a scheduled ten round bout which again, is against the rules.
Again, on July 23 Santoso won by a 5th round knockout over Gaspar Ampolo who had ? listen to this ? a record of 1 win against 21 defeats and 2 draws!!

Prior to that on June 11, 2013, Santoso won an eight round decision over Safwan Lombok whose record was a miserable 1 win against 19 defeats with 1 draw.

While it is true that the fights are free to the fans, it doesn?t necessarily mean that since they are not paying you can feed them garbage.

My more pressing concern is that this is an MP Promotions fight card which carries the name of perhaps the greatest fighter of all-time who hasn?t shunned a fight against a fiercely competitive opponent.

To use his name and stage such blatant mismatches is a travesty to his image and good name. Never mind the GAB, they wallow in this kind of mediocrity.

Photo: Michael Farenas connects on Mark Davis.

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