Pinoy Pride 42 recap: ALA Boxing bringing the future today
By Balt Ducay Chavez
Sat, 23 Sep 2017
CEBU CITY -- Boxing punched itself in the mouth yet again this past weekend when the middleweight brawl between Triple G and Canelo Alvarez ended in a split draw at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Unlike the Sin City stinker, which aggravated even the sport's staunchest loyalists, a card on the other side of the world did nothing but put boxing on a bright light and entertained fans from all walks of life.
I'm talking about the immensely successful Pinoy Pride 42 which was staged last Saturday at the Waterfront Hotel and Casino in Queen City of the South.
Dubbed as the Clash For Glory, a full-house crowd was treated to a bloody showdown of non-stop action that was well worth the price of admission.
In the curtain-raiser, unbeaten flyweight Jeno Macapobre (2-0) proved too brutish for Mel Ando, who suffered a TKO loss in the third round, while Kenneth Paul Gentallan (5-0-1, 3,) dominated Jeffrey Stella (4-3-1) en route to a unanimous decision win. Stella's toughness was praise worthy, but not enough to sway the judges who saw it in favor of Gentallen --- 59-54, 59-54, and 60-53.
Virgel Vitor (11-1, 6KOs)fought like there was a cab waiting for him outside the hotel with the meter running. He stung Alvin Bais (15-10-1) a hammer blow to the body to end a lopsided contest in the 2:49 mark of the opening round.
Punching with sharp, machine-like precision KJ Cataraja (6-0) knocked out Wiljan Ugbaniel (13-5-1) with such savagery that a priest was almost summoned to administer a holy function.
“King” Arthur Villanueva (now 31-2, 17 KOs) abused Richie Mepranum (31-7-1, 8 KOs) a seasoned veteran who proved his mettle by effectively evading a barrage of punches to the head. But after four rounds of relentless assault, Mepranum waved the white flag.
A historic big switch in history happened when Zamboanga native Jonas “Zorro” Sultan (14-3, 9 KOs) snatched away from Ormoc City’s prizefighter Johnriel Casimero (24-4, 15KOs) his shot to earn a third world title. The former IBF light-flyweight and flyweight champion, Casimero lost his case via unanimous decision 117-111, 116-112-115-113.
Fans expect to find comfort in the uncomfortable nuclear standoff between Zamboanga City and Ormoc City after Sultan became the #1 contender for IBF junior bantamweight champ Jerwin Ancajas come April of 2018.
In the penultimate fight, the relentless James “Onyi” Onyango (23-11-2, 19KOs) threw punches from hell which nearly reduced Jason “El Nino” Pagara (40-2-1, 25KOs) into a spew of ashes.
Pagara delivered a sub-par performance and flirted with disaster against the aggressive Kenyan, much to the dismay of ALA CEO Michael Aldeguer.
The less popular Onyango gracefully accepted the split-draw decision, secure in the knowledge that he did enough to score the W.
“I think I won the fight. I’m just glad my efforts were appreciated by the crowd.,” said Onyango told this reporter during a chance encounter at the Mactan International Airport on their way back home to Kenya.
In his first IBF World light flyweight title defense, Milan “El Metodico” Milendo (36-2, 13 KOs) narrowly escaped the wrath of a worthy challenger in Hekkie “Hexecutioner” Budler (31-2 10KOs).
Budler was no troll in the squared canvass as he was intent to throw Milendo to the pits of disgrace.
Milendo suffered a pair of nasty accidental butts to his eyes but showed the crowd that his heart is just as valuable as his pride as a Filipino warrior and champion.
The Pinoy Pride series has once again masterly depicted the unassuming genius of the father-and-son tandem of Tony and Michael Aldeguer who engineered Philippine boxing at the crossroads of nationalism and entertainment.
With ALA Sports' tireless efforts in pushing the limits for boxing fans and fighters alike, the future of Philippine boxing is right on track.
Top photo: Former 2-division world champion Johnriel Casimero (L) and top contender Jonas Sultan delivered a thrilling fight last Saturday in Cebu City.
Jason Pagara (R) and James Onyango prepare to start their fisticuff.
The author (R) with Team Onyango at Cebu's Mactan International airport.
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