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List of Articles by Epifanio M. Almeda



Rufino Unseats Oņate, Wins RP Featherweight Title

By Epifanio M. Almeda
PhilBoxing.com
06 May 2006

23-year old hard-punching prospect Vinvin Rufino came back from the claws of defeat to dethrone veteran Jeffrey Oņate over 12 dramatic rounds at the NBC Tent, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City early this morning.

The fight was the main boxing attraction of “Live Match III”, a charity boxing event organized by the Springboard Foundation in cooperation with the Johnny Elorde Management International for the benefit of needy Philippine children.

Rufino started strong by repeatedly landing big lefts to the body in the 1st round. In the 2nd, Oņate dropped Rufino with a right counter punch to the face as the latter delivered a big left to the body sending Rufino to his back more surprised than hurt. Rufino immediately sprang back up but had to be counted the mandatory 8.

A furious exchange ensued in the 3rd round to the delight of the crowd. Rufino continued to work of the body with his big lefts delivered after lead right jabs to the face. Another counter punch from the veteran Oņate knocked Rufino down on his pants as the latter charged with a left straight to the body for another mandatory 8 counts. When Oņate sat in his corner at the end of the round, his two front teeth fell off as his mouth-guard was removed. GAB ring physician, Dr. Nasser Cruz, was called into the ring to examine Oņate who was ruled still able to continue the fight.

A clash of heads punctuated the otherwise good round of boxing in the 4th causing a cut over Oņate’s left eyebrow and a 1-point deduction for Rufino. With two knock downs and a point deduction, Rufino’s chance of wresting the title from Oņate appeared bleak.

Undaunted, the harder punching Rufino kept working on Oņate’s body the effect of which began to show as the latter missed more with his short counters. Rufino dropped Oņate in the 7th, 10th and 11th rounds to more than compensate for his earlier point deficiency. In the 11th round Rufino unleashed a combination that threw Oņate flat on his back and outside the ropes causing one handler coming from Oņate’s corner to enter the ring and he helped Oņate get up and reenter the ring as referee Bruce McTavish was counting. McTavish showed the man out of the ring as Oņate got on his feet and ordered the boxers to resume fighting.

While the intruder was standing in the company of the handlers in Oņate’s corner that he could be mistaken as one of them, he was actually rooting for and giving instructions favorable to Rufino during the course of the fight. Had McTavish disqualified Oņate for the unlawful intrusion, a grave honest mistake would’ve caused it so.

Both fighters gave his all in the 12th round. A short uppercut to the face midway in the round threw out Rufino’s mouth-guard. Referee McTavish did not bother to interfere and allowed the fighters to continue mixing it up until the final bell. Scores were 114-108, 115-109 and 115-108 all in favor of the new champion Vinvin Rufino. The fight ended past 1 o’clock a.m. early this morning.

In the lone supporting professional bout, Ging Dacoliat and Rodel Gueverro fought to a 4-round majority draw.

Two non-professional fights one involving women fighters addded entertainment to the appreciative participants of the “auction and knock sale” event for the Philippine needy children beneficiaries.


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