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List of Articles by Rob Cruz

Philippine-Mexican War Between Pacaliwangan and Hernandez Ends in Split Draw

By Rob Cruz
02 Dec 2013

Mississauga, Canada - In his seventh fight, Marc “Gwapo” Pagcaliwangan has now felt what it’s like to fight a Mexican Warrior who comes to you at full force and gets stronger with each round. Octavio “Coco” Hernandez, who is a crafty southpaw, has left Pagcaliwangan a lesson to think about in training and in the ring for many months to come. When you go on a winning streak like Pagcaliwangan has, it will only be a matter of time when you meet your match. Hernandez was Pagcaliwangan’s kryptonite, this was a fight that the young Filipino needed to test his heart, chin and durability.

Marc started out with crisp jabs and executed his power and speed early landing single jabs on Hernandez. Pagcaliwangan was able to land some of his power punches on the Mexican early in the fight. The power punches landed by Pagcaliwangan served as collateral and insurance in his favor as the fight goes to high gear. As the first round unfolded, Octavio “Coco” Hernandez demonstrated that he is a tricky and crafty southpaw, his ring generalship was able to neutralize Pagcaliwangan’s double jab and combinations, however he could not escape all of Pagcaliwangan’s arsenal. Hernandez felt the power punches that buckled him early, he respected Pagcaliwangan’s power and responded by giving the Filipino the slip.

In the second round Hernandez adjusted to Pacaliwangan’s movement and lands a couple of big hooks and consecutive uppercuts on Pagcaliwangan's head that rocked the Fil-Canadian. Hernandez knew where to land his shots as he exposed the holes on Pagcaliwangan’s defence, and he connected with devastating punches on Pagcaliwangan who was rocked for the first time in his career.

For the first time in Pagcaliwangan’s career, he was in trouble, his knees buckled as he clinched Hernandez, a sign that Pagaliwangan was in survival mode in the second round of the fight. Hernandez finishes strong with some big shots landed. The crowd at the Hershey Centre erupts and responds with excitement as the fight of the night is about to unfold in front of their eyes as this fight is on its way to a climax.

In the middle rounds, the Mexican Warrior just gets better with neutralizing Pagcaliwangan’s pressure. On many occasions, Hernandez was nowhere to be found when Pagcaliwangan cranked up his power punches. Hernandez demonstrated his craft and superior ring generalship, his corner instructs to load up and double up on power punches to finish off Pagcaliwangan. But they could not stop Pagcaliwangan who ate all of the power the Mexican dished out. Pagcaliwangan who was the harder puncher of the two answered back no matter how much punches he had took on.

The fight went back and forth as both boxers traded bombs, this fight reached its climax in the latter rounds. The fans in attendance were charged and cheered on in appreciation for heart and determination showed by both fighters. Hernandez kept on landing cleaner bombs on the Filipino. Pagcaliwangan stayed on course with his pressure fighting and went on the hunt with his own power punches, however, he could not connect with a haymaker that would have taken the Mexican off his feet.

Hernandez did his best to stay away from Pagcaliwangan’s power punches where he doubled and tripled up on his slip, however, he could not escape all of them. Pagcaliwangan had Hernandez in trouble, however the Mexican took Pagcaliwangan off his game plan and neutralized Pagcaliwangan’s speed and any attempt to throw double jabs and combinations with his crafty defence.

The toll on this fight started to show on both Pagcaliwagan and Hernandez, both of their footwork slowed right down, The Mexican had better legs late in the fight, Pagcaliwangan became a flat footed fighter for the first time but would not stop swinging dangerous power punches. Pagcaliwangan’s face was a mess, he received an accidental head butt that swell up above the eye. Hernandez’s face was not as bad, however it was quite clear that the Filipino power punches took its toll on the Mexican’s face and bloodied his nose.

After 6 exciting rounds where both fighters busted up, the fight went to the scorecards. Although the fight could have gone either way, it would have been marginal. A knockdown would have been a big difference here, the opportunity was there for both fighters, but it didn’t happen. The judges final verdict was a split draw for Marc “Gwapo” Pagcaliwangan and Octavio “Coco” Hernandez. The decision was a fair one. Don MacDonald from United Boxing Promotions commented that Marc Pagcaliwangan showed us “True Heart”, this writer certainly agrees.

Marc Pagcaliwangan showed us that he belongs in this sport, he was born with a durable chin and “True Heart” which will take him a long way in the ring. As for Octavio “Coco” Hernandez who has fought 19 fights to date, he performed like a veteran in there. He was a very durable and a slick southpaw whose ring experience and clutch moves could probably exceed what he has logged in the record books.

The Marc “Gwapo" Pagcaliwangan vs. Octavio “Coco’ Hernandez fight was beautifully matched up by United Boxing Promotions. The Filipino presence and overwhelming fan support for Marc Pagcaliwangan was clearly visible at the Hershey Centre.

During the immediate post fight interview, Marc "Gwapo" Pagcaliwangan announced that he will be donating a portion of his purse towards the Typhoon Haiyan victims in the Philippines.

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