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Filipinos John Michael Zulueta, Herlan Gómez Score Exciting Wins in Thailand!!


PhilBoxing.com



Gomez (L) battles Sarawut in Bangkok Wednesday.
BANGKOK, Thailand -- Battling tough foes behind enemy lines, Bacolod young fighters John Michael Zulueta and Herlan Gómez rose to the occasion as true warriors to claim thrilling victories during the Highland Boxing show staged Wednesday, August 3, at the luxurious SpacePlus Night Club here in the heart of Bangkok, Kingdom of Thailand.

The first Filipino to climb the ring for action was the unbeaten “Striker” John Michael Zulueta (13-0-2, 6 KO’s), to collide against fast & furious Thai Somphon Banyaem.

Zulueta, 26, began cautions, calm and collected, checking out his opponent's moves, searching for openings, soon finding one, throwing and landing successfully, a development that set the tone of what was about to happen.

The Pinoy immediately took control of the rumble, dictating the tempo, landing more solid punches on the confused Thai fighter who tried to counter, but not finding the Filipino because Zulueta has moved away.

Instants later, before the end of the first round, Zulueta advanced brilliantly with perfect timing, dishing out a vicious attack that dropped Somphon to the Highland canvas for the first time.

The Thai bravely stood up, wanting to engage. But Zulueta knocked him down again, and then again for a third time. The last one was it. Down he stayed on his butt unable to regain his feel, probably feeling as if being in another dimension.

But it was during those troubled instants of pain when the Thai was down that Zulueta showed respect and sportsmanship, looking visibly concerned about his fallen fighting partner. I loved that attitude. Because it shows the goodness that is in the heart of the Bacolod boy.

Thankfully, the strong Somphom was okay, back on his feet, the two warriors embracing each other afterwards.

It was a fantastic round one knockout win for Zulueta, his second win in Thailand, and still undefeated.

Congratulations and let’s hope that after this KO win the IBF and the WBA will put Zulueta back in their world rankings.

Because Zulueta was in the world rankings and taken out due to inactivity. But now he is active again with two good triumphs after his return. Let’s hope for the best... and once again Congratulations John Michael Zulueta!

HERLAN GOMEZ' TURN TO SHOW WHAT HE IS MADE OF

Then, it was Gómez’ time to rumble.

Yes indeed, because bantamweight Herlan Gomez (5-0) of the lovely City of Bacolod in Negros Occidental had the mission to engage an unbeaten Thai KO Artist who had demolished, punished and scalped all of his prior opponents, wanting the head of the Filipino next.

Destiny had it that it was August 3, Gomez's birthday.

Could Gomez score a fantastic win on his special day?

The fight was against Sarawut Jiamthong, a tough foe with a record of 6 wins, no defeats, all 6 wins by way of KO.

But focused Gómez did not looked worried.

Because the 22 year-old had come all the way from his beloved Pinoyland to fight his heart out in Thailand. He was more than willing to rumble as a true warrior... as great Filipino boxers since Pancho Villa have done forever.

Right from the beginning, Gomez appeared faster and more skilful than his opponent Sarawut, landing effectively with his jab, using that important weapon to establish the right distance for his incoming straight bomb.

Using his superior boxing talent, Gomez began taking control of the war, scoring meaningful blows over the strong Thai slugger.

To my eyes, Gomez was decidedly the better boxer with more refined technique.

But near the end of the first chapter, the Filipino missed with his right hook, getting countered rough by the hard-hitting Thai, visibly rocking the Pinoy, sending him backwards against the ropes.

Luckily, the Negros fighter did not fall to the canvas. He took the hit well, regaining composure remarkably fast, coming back at the Sarawut with a vengeance, demonstrating the Filipino that he not only have skills and a really good-looking fighting style, but also an iron chin.

That counter punch from the Thai would have sent someone else to the floor.

Truly, Gomez lost that first round, but he had gotten to know a lot about his opponent, what to do, what not to do, and how to crack open this safety box.

From then on, Gomez won round after round, not giving the Thai lion any chance, stalking him, landing on him repeatedly with a fantastic variety of blows in combination, as well as power punches that Sarawut did not enjoy at all, resorting to hold and clinch... and hold and clinch so repeatedly and so annoyingly.

For that excessive antic, the Thai referee had no choice but to deduct a point from his compatriot, although that did not stop Sarawut from continue doing it.

When a boxer needs to keep on holding that way, we all know why, right?

The sixth chapter and final was the best one in Herlan Gomez's exciting victory as he had his opponent at his mercy, punishing him constantly without giving him a second to breath, Sarawut holding for dear life.

The final bell sounded, sparing the Thai from a sure knockout loss. (My humble opinion).


Zulueta and Gomez pose with the author.

In my mind, few more seconds and Sarawut would have ended up in some way on the canvas. Sure.

It was a clear, rewarding and well-deserved win for Herlan Gomez, improving his record to 5-0. His second win in Thailand. Still undefeated. And happy birthday Herlan Gomez!!

These were really thrilling wins for Zulueta and Gomez; both young men guided in their corner by experienced coach Joemarie Gamboa and assistant trainer Marvin Alegria, son of coach Alan Alegria.

A Perfect night for the Pinoy team, right?

About that, award-winning Filipino Promoter and matchmaker Brico Santig said:

"Nice wins! I had faith in Zulueta and Gomez. I knew the fights were good chance for them. I am happy they won tonight here in Thailand. I am proud of them."

The Highland Show with a total of 10 international bouts was promoted by Brico Santig in association with Thai enterpreanur Tony Chen of Spaceplus and Thai promoter Supanat Chanram.


The author Carlos Costa is a veteran boxing reporter. Carlos can be reached at carlos@philboxing.com and whatsapp +639184538152.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Carlos Costa.


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