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List of Articles by Sev Sarmenta



SHORT NIGHT FOR TITLE FIGHTS

By Sev Sarmenta
PhilBoxing.com
30 Oct 2007

No one can predict how long or short a title fight can go.

The schedule is twelve rounds but it can either be short and decisive or long and arduous.

It can be a slam-bang affair or a tired dance between two weary boxers.

Last Sunday night (October 27) at the Thunderbird Resort and Fiesta Casino, Philippine boxing got a dose of short affairs with two titles being decided in four rounds.

Sonny Boy Jaro defended his Philippine light flyweight title by making short work of No.5 contender Alfred Nagal. Jaro knocked down Nagal thrice in the first round to win the fight via TKO. Jaro, according to my In this Corner partner Moy Lainez, struggled to make the 108 lb. limit and wanted to make it a quick battle with Nagal. Jaro wanted no opportunity for Nagal to take advantage of his weight difficulties.

The other title tiff featured defending Philippine Mini-Flyweight champ Denver Cuello against Rollen del Castillo. The protagonists looked like mirror images of each other and even shared an equal number of pro fights. Cuello was 13-3-4 while del Castillo was 15-5-0.

Cuello and del Castillo started their dance by getting to know each other in the opener. Then the fireworks began. In the second round, Cuello got tagged with a point deduction because of an accidental head butt on del Castillo but quickly regained the lost point by flooring the challenger.

However, who would have predicted what would happen next?

A gash on Cuello because of an accidental clashing of heads in the third round sadly abbreviated what was fast shaping up into a slugfest. The wound on the defending champion was a nasty one and blood flowed profusely. Dr.Redentor Viernes said that the fight could not proceed and thus a technical draw was in force. Cuello retained his title in three rounds.

What happened at Thunderbird showed boxing at its unpredictable best. Knockdowns or knockouts are never really planned for. It’s the same with head butts and wounds. A crowd can hope for a fistic fiesta but it can be short journey at times.

One thing is for sure though. Short fights or protracted struggles are now welcome at venues like Thunderbird. The casino-vacation resort has a good long-term vision of adding a variety of entertainment packages to its offerings for guests. It’s a little like Las Vegas hotels offering weekend packages, with a round of golf, a concert or a boxing match to spice up the deal.

This is good for boxing because it gives local and even foreign promoters an additional option for staging quality matches. It will still take some very deft marketing to entice more people to come to Thunderbird solely for boxing but there are enough experts who can whip up the package that will do the job.

Local boxing never had it so good as venues like hotels, resorts and casinos are opening their doors to big promotions. These are additional choices aside from the regular plaza showdowns supported by government officials or promotions at sporting venues.

It doesn’t matter whether the fights are short and sweet. I guess as long there’s a title to be fought for and some marquee names in the card, there will always be an audience for the sweet science in whatever venue.


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