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Bump on the Road


PhilBoxing.com




Aston Palicte ran into stormy waters at the Marvel Stadium in Melbourne last weekend and paid a hefty price for engaging local hero Jason Moloney toe-to-toe instead of capitalizing on his length to fight from a distance in a scheduled 10-rounder for the vacant WBC Silver and WBO International bantamweight titles. The outcome was catastrophic for the Bago City boxer who was two inches taller and enjoyed a 4-1/2 inch reach advantage over the Australian.

There was a lot of hype surrounding the bout with Top Rank’s Bob Arum himself at ringside. A PR firm from Florida painted an extremely rosy picture for Palicte who was described as a “giant” in his weight class at 5-7. He was quoted as saying moving up to bantamweight was a strong point even if it was already his fifth outing scaling at least 118 and he had lost once in the division. “I love fighting in my opponent’s home country because when we knock out our opponent, it will make me proud,” boasted Palicte. There was talk of his reunion with trainer Nonoy Neri and they had never lost together in 10 previous fights. There was reference to different countries where Palicte saw action as an amateur, hinting that fighting on hostile soil was no problem.

When the bell rang, Palicte sought out Moloney like a tiger on the prowl. He was in no mood to stick and run. Apparently, Palicte underestimated Moloney’s power. He could’ve stayed out of harm’s way at the start, using his long left jab in a tactical approach. Palicte could’ve worn out Moloney by making the Aussie chase him around the ring then later, gone in for the kill. But Palicte went for broke, got tagged and went down twice in the third before referee Ignatius Missailidis waved it off at the 2:35 mark.

Palicte’s trainer Nonoy Neri said with more training time, the outcome could’ve been different. Neri said Palicte reported at the MP Gym in Davao only three weeks before the fight. “Kulang sa preparasyon,” said Neri. “Sayang ang haba niya, hindi gumamit ng jab.”

“We had immense pressure knowing that the ref and all the judges were Australian,” said Palicte’s manager Jason Soong. “Aston couldn’t stick to the game plan. When he hurt Moloney in the third, he went for it and unfortunately, got hit. That’s boxing, hope to learn from this. Thankfully, his promoter World Cup Boxing has a fight lined up for him in the US. I told Aston the road got longer but we still have a destination to get to. I plan to really change his fighting style, moving forward. Can’t do that style anymore with his level of boxing.”

Soong said the plan was to take the US route but the opportunity to battle Moloney came up and it was too good to pass. Guy Taylor, who used to be Roy Jones’ executive matchmaker, is behind World Cup Boxing and Soong is banking on his experience to get Palicte back on track.


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


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