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SERVANIA FLOORS VALDEZ FOR THE FIRST TIME BUT LOSSES TITLE BID


PhilBoxing.com




Genesis Servania gave Oscar Valdez a scare by flooring him for the first time in his career in the fourth round but the Mexican came out victorious in a hard fought battle to keep possession of his WBO featherweight title belt, winning a unanimous decision 116-110, 117-109, and 119-111 at the Tucson Convention Center in Tucson, Arizona. Valdez (23-0, 19 KO) got up from the canvas in round four, more surprised than hurt from a magnificent shot from Servania (29-1, 12 KO) that hit the champion.

* * *

In the fifth canto, Valdez retaliated with a knockdown of Servania, who was obviously hurt. The Filipino challenger kept fighting and connecting some blows on the undefeated titlist following the trip to the deck. Valdez made some adjustments and defending the solid punches of Servania who threw in a never-say-die effort resulting an excellent confrontation between two untiring protagonists. In the end Valdez proved to be the more aggressive and powerful boxer worthy of the clear verdict.

* * *

"I never thought I was gonna be on the canvas like that,” Valdez told ESPN in an interview. “But this is boxing. This is what it is. To be completely honest, I wasn’t really hurt. I was really surprised. I was like, ‘OK, I’m on the floor. But now, nothing happened. I’m gonna get up and I’m gonna do my work.’ ”

* * *

Servania was a virtual unknown in the United States, had unproven opposition, and was untested at the championship level, but the Bacolod City native more than proved himself as a real threat to the crown of the more experienced world champion. Valdez had even more difficult times in the early rounds in his tussle with Servania than when he defended his belt against Miguel Marriaga of Colombia on April 22 in Carson, California. Valdez knocked down Marriaga (25-3, 21 KOs) in the 10th round of their encounter and won by an easier unanimous decision at 119-108, 118-109, 116-111.

* * *

Servania is ranked No. 4 WBO featherweight contender, but he has not fought a big name opponent prior to earning the title shot. It was his first bout in the United States and fought for the first time outside of the Asian continent. His first showdown atop an American ring was memorable from start to finish.

* * *

The 12th round has more exchange of flurries because Servania tried his best to salvage a knockout having known he was behind in points. Valdez answered with power punches, both fighters absorbed the hardest blows. “I let the crowd sometimes get to me,” Valdez said. “I wanna show my crowd a good fight. I got a little too careless and I got hit. This is boxing. But I learned a lot from this fight, definitely.”

* * *

Servania dropped Valdez in round 4 with a straight right hand and as the world champion went back on his feet he was in serious trouble as the challenger accelerared his offensive until the end of the round. But Valdez turned the tide as he knocked Servania down in the fifth and rallied to victory. Servania, a former boxer from the ALA Gym and now fighting out of Kanazawa, Japan, fought without his trainer Mark Gil Melligen in his corner because Melligen was not able to travel to the USA due to visa problems.

* * *

Nonito Donaire (37-4-0, 24 KOs) will return to the action against Ruben Garcia Hernandez (22-2-1, 9 KOs) for the WBC Silver featherweight title on Saturday, September 23 at the Alamodome, San Antonio, Texas and promoted by Ringstar Sports. The fight is at the undercard of cruiserweight world titlist Yunier Dorticos (21-0, 20 KOs) versus "The Russian Hammer" Dmitry Kudryashov (21-1, 21 KOs). Donaire fights for the first time after his unanimous decision loss to Jessie Magdaleno.

* * *

During his last appearance at San Antonio in 2012, Donaire and his opponent Wilfredo Vazquez entangled into a pre-fight brawl during the final news conference. He removed Donaire’s hat and threw it to the ground which resulted to a shoving clash. “That’s the only scuffle I’ve ever had at a press conference, so it was pretty memorable,” said Donaire, who went on to win by a split-decision at the Alamodome. Five years later, Donaire is back to San Antonio to fight Garcia Hernandez.

* * *

After winning the decision against Vazquez, Donaire stood in the middle of the ring with his arm raised victorious, but his hand wrap was soaked with blood resulting from a cut inflected during the scuffle. Since defeating Vazquez, Donaire went 9-3 in his fights with losses to Guillermo Rigondeaux, Nicholas Walters and Jessie Magdaleno in world title fights.

* * *

Jack Tepora showed he has a huge potential to become a world champion someday when he knocked out Lusanda Komanisi in two rounds at the Orient Theatre in East London, South Africa. Tepora (21-0, 16 KOs) from Cebu City stopped Komanisi (21-4, 18 KOs) and ending his 9-fight winning streak. Tepora landed a right hook on the South African and sent him to the canvas never able to get up as the referee counted him out.

* * *

“I’m very happy with my win because it was unexpected. He’s no pushover, he’s a world champion,” said Tepora who became the new WBO international featherweight champion as quoted by SunStar Cebu. “I really did what I promised because I felt that I could lose if it went the distance.”

* * *

Tepora was rated No.9 by the WBO in its super bantamweight rankings, and is expected to emerge in the featherweight ratings after the magnificent victory and it is in that division where he wants now to campaign. “I didn’t have a hard time making the weight. I also believe that I had more power at featherweight,” he said.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Maloney L. Samaco.


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