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List of Articles by Rob Cruz

The Good, The Bad and The Gwapo, Marc Pagcaliwangan Wins by UD Against George Gachechiladze

By Rob Cruz
05 May 2014

Mississauga, Canada -- At this stage of Marc “Gwapo” Pagcaliwangan’s young boxing career, he has fought eight fights against boxers with much more ring experience than he has. His latest opponent was the number one ranked Georgian Super Bantamweight George Gachechiladze, a veteran of 25 fights was no exception.

In seven fights, Pagcaliwangan has only boxed 15 rounds since he turned pro compared to Gachechiladze’s 126 rounds of ring experience who was fresh off a win last March 23.

Marc Pagcaliwangan has a lot of potential, this kid has the heart, the chin and has a respectable punch to reckon with that makes him an exciting boxer to watch and a promoter’s delight to have on a fight card. Although he remains undefeated, there are certainly improvements to consider as Pagcaliwangan’s vulnerability has been identified in his last two fights against seasoned boxers. For Team Gwapo, it is a learning process to close the gaps to develop Pagcaliwangan where he needs to develop most on a fight by fight basis.

Against George Gachechildaze, Marc Pagcaliwangan started strong which he always does; the Georgian Boxer was bombarded with punches from every direction as Pagcaliwangan scored point after point to grab the first two rounds convincingly. Pagcaliwangan scored a flash knockdown in the first round that put Gachelchiladze and his corner on high red alert early in the fight.

The muscle bound George Gachelchiladze took every punch Pagcaliwangan could dish out after the first knock down and survived the onslaught from Pagcaliwangan blazing hand speed. Gachelchiladze bulldozed his way on the inside and took Pagcaliwangan off his game plan by forcing his way on the inside like a bull who does not want to break away from locking horns. If Pagcaliwangan is challenged to fight on the inside, he will always answer as he also likes to fight in the inside instinctively. The whole fight was full of clinching that was initiated from Gachelchildaze which tied up Pagcaliwangan’s fists.

Top photo: Marc "Gwapo" Pagcaliwangan connects with a big overhand left punch that hurt and wobbled George Gachechiladze.

Marc "Gwapo" Pagcaliwangan and George Gachechiladze in a bull fight throughout the fight.

George Gachelchiladze hits the canvass in the flash knock down courtesy of "Gwapo"

From the third round, Gachelchildaze started to answer back and caught Pagcaliwangan with his hands down and connected with a few vicious hooks from close in that rocked the Filipino. Instead of fighting tall and using his crisp jabs, Pagcaliwangan fought a small man’s fight that favored his opponent, he fought Gachelchiladaze’s bull fight as the Georgian boxer ran the clock by clinching and lured Pagcaliwangan into an inside brawl. The clinching took its toll on Pagcaliwangan as he started to show some fatigue as he was up against a strong bull ready to ram him at every opportunity.

George Gachelchildaze was able to impose his will and continued to bulldoze Pagcaliwangan, he finally found his range from the inside in the fifth round. Gachelchildaze connected with a number of vicious hooks through Pagcaliwangan’s questionable defense as he had his guard down. Pagcaliwangan clinched but continued to fight his shorter opponents fight instead of creating space for his jab to set up his combination which lacked during this fight.

The last round was full of more bulldozing from Gachelchildaze while Pagcaliwangan urgently executed punches whenever he could to win the last round. I scored the fight 4 rounds to 2 in favor of Marc Pagcaliwangan; it was a messy and ugly fight unlike his last fight which was considered as the fight of the night. Pagcaliwangan applied more aggression and connected with enough touches to win the fight against Gachelchildaze who was swinging for air most of the time with Hail Mary shots.

Still undefeated, Marc Pagcaliwangan now has 7 wins and 1 draw, has been matched up in a couple of tough fights against very durable boxers at the Hershey Centre. His talent needs to be harnessed by his coaching team on a consistent basis in their quest for Pagcaliwangan to be the first Filipino Champion in Canada.

His team will need to bring him back on track to his true potential as this was not their best fight to date. Pagcaliwangan seems to fade during the middle rounds when he slows down and holes are found on his defense. It’s great to have a good chin complemented with heart, however Team Gwapo will need go back to the drawing board and address what was lacking in Marc Pagcaliwangan from this last fight.

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