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List of Articles by Winchell Campos



Farenas Knocks Out Unbeaten Davis, Gets Right to IBF Title Challenge

By Winchell Campos
PhilBoxing.com
03 Jul 2014



CONNECTICUT -- When the bright klieg lights of national television flashed, Michael Farenas wasted no time in showing everyone why he is the most feared and avoided fighter.

With the all-important right to challenge for the International Boxing Federation (IBF) title at stake, Farenas chased Mark "Too Sharp" Davis from pillar to post from the very first second of the first round until referee Steve Smoger waived off the unbeaten prospect from Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

The end came at the 59th second of the eighth round. Smoger averted what could have been a fatal end to the fight as the hapless Davis got cornered again. Farenas scored his 39th win (31 by knockout), four losses and four draws with this emphatic win.

Thus Farenas earned the right to face the winner of the Argenis Mendez versus Rances Barthelemy IBF super featherweight title fight scheduled on July 10 at American Airlines Arena in Miami.

Farenas, who had to languish and wait for this big chance since losing to Yuriorkis Gamboa two years ago, silenced the fans and the big crowd at the Foxwoods Resort in serene Mashantucket, CT waiting for an ambush to happen. Davis, who fell to 18-1-0, was a rising star touted by many to be the next big thing in boxing. Patron rapper Fifty Cent had high hopes for the unbeaten Davis until the fateful end.

After the loss to Gamboa, Farenas was a buzzsaw and a man on a mission, winning all his four fights in a cumulative total of seven rounds alone.

The Filipino gave only a handful of believers who came as far as New York, Los Angeles, Japan and Manila something to cheer about as he let loose combinations and a game-plan geared towards a vicious body attack. It worked dividends in the end as the very game Davis seemed impervious to Farenas' onslaught early on.

At hand were Farenas' manager Gerry Penalosa, supporter Kosuke Washio of Japan, cutman Lenny de Jesus and cornerman Mike Cupak, who all came from nearby New York and New Jersey on short notice.

The 30-year-old Gubat, Sorsogon native bloodied Davis right on the first round, scoring on mighty left roundhouses and straights that cut Davis's right eye. Davis was cocky and taunted Farenas no end.

Writers at press row recognized the talent and gallantry of Farenas, quipping that this fight was between a man (Farenas) and a boy as the Filipino plowed his way through Davis's punches.

It was a reunion of sorts for Farenas who was ably trained and supported by his friend Marvin Somodio, who was just starting out an amateur career in 2004 in the Philippines. Farenas had already completed his tour of duty as an amateur and was entering the professional ranks during that time.

Somodio made sure Farenas was relaxed and detached from the distractions surrounding the fighter. "Malaking tulong talaga si Marvin kasi hindi lang training ang contribution niya. Marami ring lecture at experience ang ibinigay niya sa training," said Farenas, who came to the US all by his lonesome. He had to wait for a week to reunite with Somodio, who was then in New York, helping his mentor Freddie Roach win another title for Miguel Cotto.

Farenas's original trainer Irving Penalosa could not make it to the US as he had visa problems. Farenas stayed at the apartment rented out by compatriot Manny Pacquiao in Los Angeles and was loaned a car and given provisions by supporter and believer Abbas Ahmadi of Cerritos Mitsubishi.

"Maraming salamat sa lahat ng sumuporta at naniwala sa akin. Sana, magtuluy-tuloy na ito. Hindi na rin tayo bumabata," added Farenas, who continuously staggered Davis, who was saved by the bell in the fifth round.

At the end, Farenas's face was virtually unmarked even as he thanked people who prayed for him. Catholic priest Rev. Fr. Marlon Beof prayed for him, too, via phone from Los Angeles.

"We had a good training camp at the Wild Card Gym as Mike sparred with Dennis Shapikov and Frankie Gomez, both top contenders," said Somodio, now a master in his own right, with Roach overseeing things.

Argenis Mendez of the Dominican Republic is the current IBF junior lightweight champion. A fight with Farenas will be in the works, soon.


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