RECAP: SERVANIA FALTERS, TEPORA, DONAIRE AND DUNO VICTORIOUS
By Rene Bonsubre, Jr.
Sun, 24 Sep 2017
Genesis Servania performed above expectations in his first world title shot against WBO featherweight champ and Top Rank fighter Oscar Valdez. Servania was undefeated like Valdez but still an underdog against the Mexican who was making his third title defense.
Servania actually knocked Valdez down first in the fourth round but Valdez returned the favor in the fifth, sending Servania down face first. Servania weathered the storm and continued to press forward to battle Valdez toe to toe. Valdez’s movement and offensive variety made him keep his title by scores of 116-110, 119-111 and 117-109.
Valdez is now 23-0, 19KO’s, Servania drops to his first loss at 29-1, 12KO’s. The fight was held in Tucson, Arizona (Saturday morning in the Philippines).
This was also Servania’s first fight outside of Asia. He is now based in the Kashimi Gym in Japan.
Servania told this writer in as short internet chat that he wants a rematch. Whether he gets it or not, he is still 26 years old and with his good showing, could get another world title shot in the near future.
The weekend was kicked off dawn Saturday (Philippine Time) by Jhack Tepora’s second round knockout win over Lusanda Komanisi at the Orient Theater in East London, South Africa.
The undefeated Tepora, ranked by the WBO as number nine on their super bantamweight contender list was fighting one division higher as a featherweight. He was also on his first overseas stint as a professional and facing a former IBO world titlist.
Tepora, who fights out of the Omega Gym of Cebu, garnered the WBO Inter-continental featherweight crown and will surely move up the world rankings. His record goes up to 21-0, 16KO’s. Komanisi suffered his fourth loss at 21-4, 18KO’s.
On Sunday morning Philippine Time, it was the turn of former five-division world titleholder Nonito Donaire and rising lightweight prospect Romero Duno.
Donaire was making his debut under Ringstar Sports in San Antonio, Texas while Duno, fighting under Golden Boy Promotions, was in the Forum in Inglewood, California.
Both came up with unanimous decision wins against Mexican opponents.
Returning to the featherweight division where he reigned briefly as the WBA champion, Donaire boxed cautiously against Ruben Garcia Hernandez in the early going.
The Filipino Flash established control of the fight with a busy jab and lateral movement. He rocked Hernandez with hooks and uppercuts when he came in close. But Hernandez showed he had a hard chin, and Donaire’s left uppercut in the penultimate round would have knocked out most boxers.
Hernandez did manage to get in close until the final round and got his shots in, but it was not enough to alter the course of the fight.
Donaire won the WBC Silver featherweight belt by scores of 100-90, 97-93, 99-91. Donaire goes up to 38-4, 24 KO’s, Hernandez drops to 22-3-1, 9 KO’s.
This was Donaire’s first fight since he lost his WBO world super bantamweight title to Jessie Magdaleno last November 5, 2016. Now 34 years old, he showed he still has a lot left in the tank.
The fight against Juan Pablo Sanchez was a good learning experience for Duno. He was up against a sturdy foe who would not fall and capitulate.
He remained aggressive but had to box and place his punches well including going to the body more. Duno drew blood from Sanchez in the fifth but the Mexican was still hanging around till the eighth and final canto.
Duno won by scores of 78-74 on all three judges. Duno is from the Sanman Gym of Gen.Santos City. He was signed by Golden Boy Promotions after his second round stoppage win over the previously unbeaten Golden Boy prospect Christian Gonzalez last March in Los Angeles.
All in all, it was an exciting weekend for the diehard Filipino boxing fans that followed the fortunes of these four fighters.
Photo - clockwise from top left - Jhack Tepora, Nonito Donaire, Genesis Servania, Romero Duno
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