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List of Articles by Joaquin Henson

Servania back on the rise

By Joaquin Henson
03 Oct 2018

Hard-hitting Genesis Servania of Bacolod scored a brutal third round knockout over Tijuana’s Carlos Carlson in the undercard of Top Rank's show featuring IBF superflyweight champion Jerwin Ancajas' sixth title defense against Mexico's Alejandro Santiago at the Oracle Arena in Oakland last Friday. It was Servania’s third straight abbreviated win since losing to WBO featherweight champion Oscar Valdez on a unanimous 12-round decision in Tucson last September.

Servania, 27, raised his record to 32-1, with 15 KOs. He’s ranked No. 3 by the WBO and WBA, No. 9 by the IBF and No. 12 by the WBC in the 126-pound division. Servania said he’s being lined up for a shot at the WBO superbantamweight title of Ghana’s Isaac Dogboe, meaning a drop down from featherweight.

Servania, however, said he’d like nothing better than to exact revenge on Valdez. His fight against Valdez was a war. Servania floored the Mexican in the fourth round and was himself decked in the fifth. While the verdict was unanimous, Servania was far from dominated. Judge Dennis O’Connell had it 116-110 and judge Levi Martinez saw it closer, 115-111. Judge Rubin Taylor scored it way off, 117-109. Valdez, 27, has a 24-0 record, with 19 KOs, and hasn’t fought since outpointing Scott Quigg last March. Valdez suffered a fractured jaw in the Quigg defense and his mouth was wired shut for two months. He may be able to fight again in December or January.

Dogboe would be a consolation prize if Valdez isn’t available. He’s coming off a spectacular one-round knockout over Hidemori Otake in Glendale last August and another stoppage victim was Jessie Magdaleno who capitulated in 11 rounds last April. Magdaleno once beat Nonito Donaire, Jr. Dogboe, 24, has a 20-0 record, with 14 KOs.

In 2016, a Filipino from Panabo, Davao del Norte, faced Dogboe in Accra and lost on a unanimous 12-round decision. He was Neil John Tabanao whose record is now 16-4, with 11 KOs. Tabanao, 24, is a road warrior and has fought in Australia, Japan, Russia and Ghana. Twice, he won in Australia and once in Japan.

Ancajas is from Panabo like Tabanao and they train together at the Survival Camp in Magallanes, Cavite. Trainer Joven Jimenez said Tabanao, who is based in Cebu, is among over 10 fighters honing their skills at the Cavite facility. Aside from IBF No. 1 minimumweight contender Mark Anthony Barriga, Jimenez said Tabanao is the camp’s brightest prospect for a world crown.

Servania is managed by Japanese Naoyuki Kashimi and lives in Kanazawa, Ishikawa. He is unbeaten in four fights in Japan and has also won in Macau and Dubai. Against Carlson, Servania displayed his ability to adjust in the course of a fight.

“I expected Carlson to run so I was surprised in the first round when he attacked and was the aggressor,” said Servania in Pilipino. “He got me with some shots. I couldn’t adjust right away. In the second round, I settled down and found my range. In the third round, I landed one shot, a right to the head, and he went down.” Carlson failed to beat the 10-count by a split second and referee Marcos Rosales ruled a knockout at 0:44 of the third.

Servania left for Japan the next morning and said he’ll visit family in Bacolod for a rest before returning to the gym to prepare for Dogboe or Valdez or whomever. What makes Servania a serious championship contender is he’s got power. In 2013, he stopped Indonesia’s Angky Angkota in the seventh round in Cebu, avenging the only setback in Donnie Nietes’ career. Two of his other knockout victims were A. J. Banal’s tormentor Rafael Concepcion of Panama and former world champion Alexander Munoz of Venezuela.

Lou Moret, 74, was the referee in the Ancajas-Santiago fight. He’s been a referee for 36 years. Before the bout, he visited both fighters in their lockerrooms to remind them of key things.

“Don’t interfere with my job,” he told Ancajas. “When you’re tied up, don’t hit the other guy. When you hear the 10-second clapper, that’s a warning but you can still fight until the bell. Watch your head. If you hit a guy when he’s down, I’ll take away two points or even disqualify you. No grabbing, no rabbit punching. I want a clean fight. Blood doesn’t bother me. I won’t call in the doctor to examine a cut unless it’s extremely serious. I’ll let the fight continue even if there’s blood but if it affects the way you fight and it becomes a bad injury, I’ll call for the doctor and determine whether or not to stop it. Understand my three basic instructions----stop, box and break.” Moret repeated what he said to Ancajas when he visited Santiago in his lockerroom.

Believe it or not, Pakistan is considered the world’s boxing glove capital. It’s where most of the boxing gloves are made. Reyes and Grant are probably the only two brands whose gloves are manufactured in Mexico. Thailand is another popular glove maker with the brands Twins and Fairtex. Japan puts out the Winning brand.

But according to boxing sources, most brands source out the manufacturing to Pakistan factories because not only is labor significantly cheaper but the leather is of superior quality. Among the other widely-used boxing glove brands are Top Ten from Germany, Lonsdale from the UK, Hayabusa from Canada, Sting, Everlast, Ringside, Title, Tuf-Wear, BenLee and Adidas.

When Ancajas fought Santiago to a split 12-round draw in Oakland, he wore specially-designed Hayabusa boxing gloves. Artist Anthony Aquino made the design where both gloves featured the Philippine sun and eight rays with the initials JA.

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