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STORY OF PHILIPPINE BOXING PART XXII: BOBBY BERNA, THE FIRST IBF SUPER BANTAMWEIGHT CHAMPION


PhilBoxing.com



Bobby Berna.

Bobby Berna was born Roberto Bernardez on May 19, 1961 in Quezon City. The southpaw boxer had his professional debut on August 13, 1979 beating Ben Juanta by 2nd round TKO.

In his 14th pro fight, he won the Philippine Games and Amusements Board bantamweight title by knocking out Ronaldo Sumalis in the 11th round on February 28, 1981 in Paranaque City.

Berna knocked out Billy Abato in the 10th round on May 29, 1981 in his first defense.

He suffered first and second defeats to Flash Jagdon and Siony Carupo both by unanimous decision in two successive non-title bouts.

Berna then chalked up seven straight wins against William Develos by 6th round TKO, South Korea's Sang Yul Ahn by unanimous decision, Fel Malatag by 5th round TKO in a title defense, South Korea's Sang Myun Choi by 8th round TKO, Noli Mocabos by 4th round TKO, Japan’s Katsuyuki Ohashi by 8th round TKO, and Danilo Inocian by 7th round TKO.

Berna lost in his first attempt at the world title when he suffered a 2nd round TKO at the hands of American knockout artist Jaime Garza for the vacant World Boxing Council super bantamweight title at the Olympic Stadium in Los Angeles California.

He was leading in points because he knocked the previously undefeated Garza down in the first round. But the Mexican-American top contender sent Berna to the canvas three times and connected flurries to the head compelling the referee to waive the fight.

Berna won the inaugural International Boxing Federation super bantamweight championship by TKO at the end of the 9th round of Sung In Suh in his hometown in Seoul, South Korea on December 4, 1983.

Sung suffered a big cut in the right eyelid causing the fight to be stopped. At first Sung was declared winner on points because he was ahead. But it was later found out that the cut was caused by a legal punch. So Berna was declared winner and new champion.

The IBF ordered an immediate rematch. This time Berna lost by a 10th round KO and his title to Sung In Suh on April 15, 1984, four months later also in Seoul.

Berna won over Japan’s Takashi Komori by 8th round TKO and Boy Negro by 7th round TKO in non-title fights.

The IBF super bantamweight title went to the hands of Ji Won Kim after he defeated his compatriot Sung In Soh by 10th round KO. Berna tried to regain the title from Kim but the South Korean proved to be very tough.

He lost in the title bout held in Busan, South Korea on June 28, 1985 as Kim went down in the 3rd round. Berna was also floored by Kim in the 3rd and 4th round. The fight was stopped in the 4th round. Ji Won Kim later became one of the few boxers who retired as a world champion and undefeated as a pro.

In subsequent fights, Berna triumphed in five straight matches against Juan Paredes by unanimous decision, Richard Pelen by unanimous decision, Victor Paredes by 5th round KO, Armando Baeza by 6th round TKO, and Ariel Reyes by 6th round KO.

In September 13, 1988, he lost to American Andre Smith by 2nd round knockout at The Forum, Ingjewood, California.

Berna retired after the loss with 38 total fights, with 31 victories, 17 wins by KO, 6 defeats, 4 losses by KO and 1 draw.


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


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