MY BOXING MEMOIRS OF CHENGDU, CHINA
By Dr. Allan Recto
11 Nov 2008
San Antonio, Texas (Nov. 9, ’08) – Clear skies unlike Chengdu, China…Deep in the Heart…Remember the Alamo…It’s good to be back to the U.S. to the city where once upon a dream match - Manny “PacMan” Pacquiao demolished Marco Antonio “The Baby Faced Assassin” Barrera for the 1st time in November 15th of 2003. Only a few believed Manny could win that fight…not the millions of Filipinos back home. It was five years ago when Barrera’s corner had to throw in the towel to avoid further injury to the great pugilistic warrior. I witnessed that fight live at the Alamodome where Oscar De La Hoya was present at ringside as a young promoter of Golden Boy Promotions. Barrera claimed he trained in Big Bear that time where it was interrupted due to forest fires. Pacquiao had to step up a few pounds to fight Barrera and the extra pounds did not take away his speed or power. It was an astounding breakthrough performance by Manny Pacquiao. Will lightning strike twice in December 6?
Top photo: Boxing Winners all except the girl…(L to R) Ray Austin, Akondaye Fountain, Jameel McCline, Don King, Devon Alexander & Juan Palacios during post-fight conference (Photo taken by Fight News Bob Newman).
Japanese Challenger Misawa squares off with interim WBC Straw weight Champ Palacios in Chengdu, China. (Photo by Dr. Allan Recto)
This past Saturday, Nov. 7th in Chengdu, China, Don King Productions and Chengdu Sports Industry presented World Championship Boxing Show billed: “We Are Together” at Sichuan Gymnasium during the WBC 46th Annual World Convention. WBC Executive Secretary Mauricio Sulaiman assigned me to be assistant ringside physician (red corner) to world-renowned and admired Dr. Allan Fields, (Ringside Physician for the Florida Boxing Commission and Vice President of the American Association of Professional Ringside Physicians), where we both witnessed a great fight for the Interim WBC minimum weight Championship crown defense of Juan “El Exterminador” Palacios from Managua, Nicaragua 24-2 (19 KO’s). The challenger from Tokyo, Japan Teruo Misawa 18-4-4 (7 KO’s) was annihilated at the 7th round via TKO. The challenger charged like a raging bull from the opening bell of the first round to the surprise of the Nicaraguan who did not lose his composure.
Misawa had a bloody nose while Palacios sustained a cut in the left eyebrow. Surprisingly, the referee Stephen Blea (USA) in the ring never called us to check on the boxers. Japanese trainer Sendai Tanaka was at the challenger’s blue corner while cutman/trainer Rey Mendoza controlled the bleeding well at the champion’s red corner. In round 7, both fighters tumbled down which was ruled a slip however; the challenger got dropped to the canvas again. Palacios went for the kill but the referee halted the fight at 2:28 of that round after the challenger received so many barrage of punches. Palacios retained his title and plans to challenge full minimum weight WBC Champion Oleydong Sithsamerchai of Thailand or WBO Champ Donnie “Ahas” Nietes from the Philippines.
Referee Stephen Blea giving mandatory count to the Japanese challenger Misawa. (Photo by Dr. Allan Recto)
After their fight, Dr. Fields checked the cut on Palacios’ left eyebrow and decided suturing would be the best alternative treatment modality rather than placing steri-strips. It was a memorable experience for me learning the “tricks of the trade” from an experienced ring doctor like Dr. Fields, active in sports medicine, serving as team physicians to the USA Olympic Team (Florida 1996) and former Chairman of the Medical Advisory Board for the Florida State Athletic Association.
Miss WBC Oksana of Lithuania (L) raises the hand of victorious Nicaraguan boxer Juan Palacios (c) that defended his crown after a hard fight last Saturday, Nov. 7. (Photo by Dr. Allan Recto)
Chief Ringside Physician Dr. Allan Fields examines the cut in Palacios left eyebrow while his manager looks on. (Photo by Dr. Allan Recto)
WBC Ringside Physician Dr. Recto placing the last suture on Interim Straw weight Champ Juan Palacios. (Photo taken by Team Palacios’ manager)
Japanese boxer Misawa accepting defeat like a true sportsman when he meets WBC Champ Palacios en route to the dressing room right after they fought. (Photo by Dr. Allan Recto)
Several bouts ensued which I missed when Dr. Fields allowed me to care for the Interim WBC champ’s wound. After I sutured Palacios’ cut, I returned to ringside in time for the comeback fight of Marco Antonio Barrera vs. journeyman Sammy Ventura who was clearly out boxed, punched out and out-classed even when some spectators claimed it looked more like a paid sparring session. In fairness to Barrera, he tried his best to put up a good show and without a doubt won on the scorecards of every round.
Barrera won a 4th Rd TKO victory after referee Kenny Bayless stopped the contest when Ventura was put down for the second time in that round.
Barrera has come out of his retirement, and signed a deal with Don King.
He moved up to the lightweight division, his goal being the first Mexican ever, to win a title in 4 different weight divisions.
Referee Kenny Bayless (R) giving mandatory count to Sammy Ventura. (L) (Photo by Dr. Allan Recto)
Japanese trainer Sendai Tanaka giving instructions at Barrera’s red corner.
A smiling, triumphant Marco Antonio Barrera of Mexico (c) with Don King and Chengdu City official (L) Photo by Dr. Allan Recto
The last bout of the evening was between Andrew Golota 41-6-1 (33 KO’s) from Chicago, USA vs. Ray Austin 24-4-4 (16 KO’s) for the WBC USNBC International Heavyweight Championship. Golota got was down twice but Canadian referee Mike Griffin ruled the second a slip. It ended when Golota stated he could no longer continue as he complained of severe excruciating pain to his left arm. Dr. Fields examined the injured biceps and referee agreed with the decision to stop the bout.
Dr. Allan Fields (L) examines injured left biceps of Heavyweight contender Andrew Golota. (Photo by Dr. Allan Recto)
Promoter Don King raises the arm of Ray Austin after his 1st Rd TKO win over Andrew Golota. (Photo by Dr. Allan Recto)
The author with Don King during the post-fight conference. (Photo by Fight News photojournalist Bob Newman)
Ringside Physician Dr. Allan Fields confer results with WBC President Don Jose Sulaiman. (photo by Dr. Allan Recto)
Notes: Results of other matches that night include Jameel McCline wins a 12 Rd unanimous decision over Mike Mollo; WBC Super lightweight #1 contender Devon Alexander “The Great” with a TKO 4 win over Sun-Haeng Lee from Korea; Wang Ya Nan win a unanimous but close 10 Rd decision over Akondaye Fountain of Houston, Texas.
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