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Rene Bonsubre, Jr.
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List of Articles by Rene Bonsubre, Jr.


 

BLOODY SUNDAY

By Rene Bonsubre, Jr.
PhilBoxing.com
24 Nov 2008

It was a tragic Sunday morning for Filipino boxing fans who witnessed Rey “Boom Boom” Bautista succumb to crafty veteran Heriberto “Cuate” Ruiz of Mexico in an eight round televised bout held in the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

The 31 year old Ruiz (40W – 7 L – 2 D, 23 KO’s) brought a wealth of experience into the ring having faced quality fighters like Mauricio Pastrana, Rafael Marquez, Irene Pacheco and Eric Morel. In the first round after a tentative feeling out process, Ruiz showed his ability to take a punch as he took Bautista’s right straight without any ill effect.

Both fighters had the tendency to crouch low and lead with their head which lead to repetitive accidental head clashes. In the third round an accidental head butt opened a nasty cut over the right eye of Bautista. This changed the complexion of the fight and Bautista’s mindset. Boom Boom tried to step up his offense but he walked into wicked right and left hooks that deposited him on the canvas. Bautista courageously got up and fought on.

Bautista’s cornermen tried frantically to stop the bleeding but his face was a grotesque crimson mask in the fourth round. A glaring tactical error in this fight was that Boom Boom would just dart in without the benefit of a jab and he would wind up eating hooks from Ruiz. A more effective jab also would have been a good defensive weapon that would have stopped Ruiz from just wading in and having his way with Bautista.

Bautista tried to pin Ruiz on the ropes in the next two rounds but the Mexican was able to absorb the Filipino’s vaunted power. Blood continued to flow from Bautista’s cut and to add insult to injury in the 7th round a point was deducted from him for repeated low blows. Ruiz was also clearly the stronger fighter at this point.

A large hematoma formed on the left side of the forehead of Bautista after another accidental clash of heads. Ruiz knew that Boom Boom needed a knockout to win the fight and he effectively diffused any offense that the young Boholano could muster in the last two rounds.

The scorecards read: 77-73, 78-72 and 80-70 for Ruiz. The fight was initially reported to be a 10 round tussle but was downgraded to eight rounds. This is the 22 year old Bautista’s second career loss and once again poses the question: “What now?”.

In the main event, British fans celebrated as Ricky “Hitman” Hatton successfully defended the IBO and Ring magazine linear light welterweight title with an 11th round TKO win over Paulie “Magic Man” Malignaggi. The fight was also for the bragging rights as to who wore the more colourful boxing trunks.

Hatton was clearly the stronger fighter and was more effective engaging in phone booth warfare. Malignaggi’s trainer Buddy McGirt decided to stop the carnage and threw in the towel 28 seconds into the eleventh round.

The ball as they say is now in Manny Pacquiao’s court. Boxing fans are drooling over the possibility of a Pacquiao vs. Hatton battle in 2009.


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