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Blue Christmas for Randy


PhilBoxing.com



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It was a Blue Christmas for Randy Petalcorin, who was stopped by WBC lightflyweight champion Ken Shiro in his second foiled title bid in Yokohama last Monday, but there is hope for a reemergence in the New Year.

Petalcorin, 27, held his own against Shiro in the first two rounds, winning both in Korean judge Jang Sung Kim’s scorecard, then a vicious liver shot brought him down for a mandatory eight-count in the third. The Filipino challenger got up but fell twice more to recover his breath before surviving the assault. In the fourth, Petalcorin stood his ground but another body blow sent him back to the canvas, prompting American referee Frank Garza to stop it at 1:08. Shiro, 27, raised his record to 17-0, with 9 KOs, in registering his seventh straight title defense. Petalcorin’s mark dipped to 31-4-1, with 23 KOs.

Petalcorin’s manager J. C. Manangquil said it’s not the end of the line for the fallen challenger. “Randy did well before the body shot,” said Manangquil. “He never saw it coming at sabay sa pag-hinga. He’s very upset because he was handling Shiro until that first body shot and he never recovered from it. I think Shiro’s the best lightfly in the world today, better than (IBF champion) Felix Alvarado (who halted Petalcorin in his first title shot last year). I’ll talk to Randy about his career after the holidays. Maybe, he’ll go down to 105. It’s not over for Randy.”

Petalcorin’s co-manager Peter Maniatis of Australia said the short four-week training period wasn’t enough. “Randy took the fight at late notice as a replacement for Alvarado,” said Maniatis. “If he had at least 10 weeks of camp, Randy would’ve been in better condition. He knows now he’ll need at least 8 to 10 weeks. He lost too much weight in a short time and was under done in four weeks. In the first two rounds, Shiro hardly landed a punch and Randy looked sharp and moved well. He started fast and aggressive. Randy landed clean shots early, rocking Shiro’s head back then came that liver shot. He was winning the third round until he got caught. Still, he came out blazing in the fourth and hit Shiro with big shots. A counter body punch put Randy down and that was it. Shiro was smart to attack the body.”

Maniatis said Petalcorin has at least three good years ahead in boxing and he’ll be back. “Randy’s devastated but he’s thankful for getting a second title shot,” said Maniatis. “He expressed his gratitude to promoter Akihiko Honda, J. C. and me for the chance.” Petalcorin’s dream of living his “Rocky” moment in the ring is yet to come true.

i>Photo: Randy Petalcorin lands a left straight on Ken Shiro but fails to dethrone the WBC lightflyweight champion, losing via a fourth round stoppage in Yokohama last Monday.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Joaquin Henson.


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