Philippines, 30 Sep 2022
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Ifugao Wonder Boy Martin Bucks Lindol Magic, Wins by TKO; Suarez Presents New Hope at 130


PhilBoxing.com




For at least three quarter of the 12 round title fight, what was regaling the near capacity crowd at the Elorde was the seeming magic Luisito Espinosa weaved in transforming an average Ronnie Baldonado into a formidable fighter capable of pulling the rugs from under undefeated defending Philippine super bantamweight champion, the Igorot Wonder Boy Carl Jammes Martin last night.

To think that Baldonado was fighting for the first time and at 122 lbs since 2019 and coming off yet from an eight rounder points loss as flyweight!

Even the jaded indeed were starting to marvel at what the former two division world champion Lindol Espinosa had done in preparing Baldonado against the rampaging boxing Wonder from Ifugao whom he even decked for the first time in his career in the third round and presented a constant threat up to the later rounds with his Lindol-like fighting stance. Like the old Luwi who in his prime was like a coiled cobra ever ready to strike and kill.

But then in the so called championship round, as fatigue set in, the Magic started to wear off and Martin who had for his credit remained focused, disciplined and most importantly composed as well as patient, began to take over with his own now becoming phenomenal stamina and sustained punching power.

Martin pressed on with his attack with increase intensity and was virtually stalking and walking down Baldonado while raining him with powerful combinations for much of the 10th.

The 11th started with Baldonado appearing to have gotten his second wind but Martin took out whatever air he still had in his body by continuing his two fisted assault and it became clear that Baldonado had all gassed out and it was only a matter of time before Martin would deliver the coup de grace by way of a knockout punch.

The referee had seen enough and mercifully saved Baldonado from further punishment and possible worse injury by stopping the contest halfway through the 11th giving Martin a TKO victory, his 16th via the short route in 19 fights and wins.

While successfully defending his Philippine championship, Martin also won the WBA Asia super bantamweight crown that was at stake.

It was just as well that Martin who had just been signed by Probellum had his baptism of fire against Baldonado here in the Philippines. Though he had once again demonstrated his stamina and staying power, he needs to improve more on his footwork and defense to compete well against tough, well conditioned fighters from the Americas and Europe.

Meanwhile in the main event, former Olympian Charley Suarez once again amply demonstrated his capability to parlay his bemedaled amateur career into a successful one in the paid ranks by pulling off a last round stoppage win over the rangy Tomjune Mangubat to win the WBA Asia super featherweight belt.

Spotting his foe by at least two inches in height and as much in reach, Suarez boxed defensively and beautifully for majority of the earlier rounds, moving side to side and giving Mangubat angles and limited opportunities for sustained attack and to score. Charly however always caught Tomjune off guard with his own two fisted offensive from time to time while electing to stand and trade whenever it was to his advantage.

Fighting taller foes is not new to Suarez in his illustrious amateur career that saw him fight the likes of Vasily Lomachenko and Oscar Valdez and even in the South-East Asian Games where he beat a lot of taller Thai and Vietnamese opponents.

Again, stamina played a key role in the final outcome as sensing Mangubat starting to gas out by the tenth, Suarez took over the initiative and in a drastic change of roles, pressed the attack pinning his foe to the ropes and the corner while raining combinations to the head and body.

The referee was prompted to step in and stop the contest to save Mangubat preserving Suarez's undefeated pro record at 10 wins, 7 by KO/TKO.

Suarez's victory gave new hope for the Philippines in divisions above 126 lbs following the sorry defeat of Joe Noynay in Australia recently.

With Martin and Suarez now holding international titles, we can expect them in competitive fights against foreign foes here and abroad going forward.

The author Teodoro Medina Reynoso is a veteran boxing radio talk show host living in the Philippines. He can be reached at teddyreynoso@yahoo.com and by phone 09215309477.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Teodoro Medina Reynoso.


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