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List of Articles by Rob Cruz


By Rob Cruz
08 Sep 2014

Two Time IBF Super Bantamweight World Champion Steve "The Canadian Kid" Molitor mentors Filipino Canadian Prospect Marc "Gwapo" Pacaliwangan

Mississauga, Canada - Filipino-Canadian Marc "Gwapo" Pagcaliwangan stretched his undefeated record to 8 winning by unanimous decision over grizzled veteran Lizardo Moreno of Mexico Saturday night at the Hershey Centre here.

This was the first full training camp Pagcaliwangan held at home in couple of years. Championship pedigree was present for training camp as the former two time IBF Super Bantamweight World Champion Steve “The Canadian Kid” Molitor worked with and mentored Pagcaliwangan for this fight. Training camp home base was at the renowned Filipino owned Kombat Arts Gym in Mississauga, Ontario which is one of the best and largest facilities to train in the Greater Toronto Region.

There has only been a few updates from Team Gwapo during this camp, however Pagcaliwangan got to spend more time surrounded by the people the he truly cares about most during training camp. Over the last few months, Team Gwapo had the opportunity to reach out to the overwhelmingly large Filipino community in the Greater Toronto Region (one of the largest metropolitan cities in North America) who may not have heard of him before.

Pagcaliwangan and Team Gwapo made personal appearances at two of the largest Filipino functions in Canada; North York’s Filtown’s “Taste of Manila” and Mississauga’s Kalayaan Festivals (held at Mississauga City Hall) which were both well publicized and broadcasted events, attended by thousands of Filipinos and a few celebrities from back home. Marc “Gwapo” Pagcaliwangan had the opportunity to reach out to meet and greet numerous fans at these festivities, he also got to address the public and leave a lasting impression on his emergence and future goals in boxing.

This was Pagcaliwangan’s third appearance in a United Promotions fight card at the Mississauga’s Hershey Centre where he has become hometown favourite. There was an opponent change due to visa problems early during training camp, however what didn’t change was the Filipino vs. Mexican classic rivalry theme for United Boxing Promotion’s co-main event.

Pagcaliwangan’s replacement opponent got even tougher, seasoned Mexican Lizardo Moreno (40W,29KO-14L,7KO,2D) who is a veteran of 343 rounds, 56 fights and 29 knockouts was summoned to do the deed; his mission was to put a end on Pagcaliwangan‘s winning streak. Moreno’s ring experience could be a significant factor, there was a tremendous difference of experience since Pagcaliwangan has only boxed 21 rounds with 7 wins and 1 draw, the Mexican opponent also boast a 50% knockout rate.

At the official weigh-in, Gwapo weighed in at 120.5lbs, Lizardo Moreno who was a couple of inches shorter but stockier than Pagcaliwangan, the Mexican weighed in at 122lbs. As usual, Pagcaliwangan exchanged pleasantries and respect for his opponent at weigh-in, however they were all business during the stare down.

At the sound of the bell to start the fight off, Pagcaliwangan rushed out of his corner, this time around there is something different in Pagcaliwangan; he was slippery, he quickly moved and cut the ring in angles. Pagcaliwangan was more cerebral, he prowled and weaved like a hungry cat that played with its prey. His reset was quicker and shorter, with each reset, Pagcaliwangan put on a clinic and launched his piston like jabs and slipped in angles out of reach that frustrated Lizardo Moreno. There was nobody in front of the Mexican to hit during the first two rounds. Pagcaliwangan clearly wins the first two opening rounds.

In the third round Pagcaliwangan finally got caught on the inside with a powerful hook from Lizardo Moreno. It looked like even Moreno surprised himself when he exposed Pagcaliwangan’s vulnerability, the Mexican connected with more power shots in the next two rounds. Although Pagcaliwangan slowed down and appeared gassed in round 3 and 4, he ate a few big punches from Moreno which didn’t blemish or hurt him. A couple of timely clinches from Pagcaliwangan stalled the Mexican‘s fire power. However, Moreno snatches 2 consecutive rounds from Pagcaliwangan whose arsenal was shut down during this period.

In the fifth round, Pagcaliwangan legs come alive again, he was urgent, rejuvenated and came out of this corner like he did in the first round. Pagcaliwangan was still in great shape, he utilized his hand speed advantage and connected with jabs and angles off away from Moreno accumulating points one jab at a time. Moreno was warned for a couple of low blows on Pagcaliwangan and continued to sneak in a couple more low blows that was unseen by the referee who towered over both boxers. The rounds are close calls, however Pagcaliwangan’s speed and fluid ring generalship were the significant differences between boxing styles.

In the seventh and eight round to close the fight, it was apparently clear that Pagcaliwangan’s style has changed through a transformation for the better; he boxed, he was slick, he dictated the pace of this fight and refrained from getting into a brawl where the Mexican wanted to take him. Pagcaliwangan stayed at a distance for most of the fight, he also used his reach advantage this time, although it was noticeable that he has a habit of keeping his hands down. Perhaps it is the change in his confidence that made Pagcaliwangan keep his guard down when at a distance.

Pagcaliwangan took a lot less punishment compared to his last two fights at the Hershey Centre. Reunited with his first pro coach Socrates Celestial who is also a fellow contributer, you can see the immediate imprint of Coach Socrates defensive slip and angles in the ring.

Pagcaliwangan caught Moreno with a couple of big shots while the Mexican tried to slip, an audible Steve Molitor called for more punches after a few big shots were landed that apparently buckled the Mexican. Pagcaliwangan was not able to pull the trigger on combinations that would have taken down his seasoned Mexican foe to the canvas in the closing eighth round.

Lizaro Moreno tried with all his might to crank out haymakers on Pagcaliwangan who walked through the Mexican’s punches. Late in the fight, referee Mark Simmons could not tolerate anymore low blows and deducted a critical point from Lizardo Merono.

Pagcaliwangan (8W,6KO-0L,1D) earns his eighth win via unanimous decision and remains undefeated. He dominated the fight and leaves no doubt that he earned his victory tonight. Unconfirmed at the moment, this victory may come at an expense of an agitated hand injury from late last year as Pagcaliwangan showed some pain when his hand wraps were being undressed. At ringside, Henry Pagcaliwangan (Marc’s father) was proud and at ease, he congratulated his son and was pleased with his performance.

During the post fight interview on Rogers Televison with ringside host Michelle Sturino, Marc “Gwapo” Pagcaliwangan revealed that he’s been watching Guillermo Rigondeaux on tape which influenced his style of boxing tonight and that the latest version of Marc Pagcaliwangan was for real.

Writers Note: Up next at the Mississauga Hershey Centre, United Boxing Promotions presents a 12 Round World Championship Title Match Up for the Interim WBA Light Heavyweight Belt between “Dangerous” Denton Daley vs. Youri Kalenga on November 15, 2014.

Back to Rob Cruz's Articles Listing

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