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PINOY BOXING 12: PETE APOLINAR FIGHTS LINGJIE XIA FOR THE WBO ORIENTAL FEATHERWEIGHT TITLE


PhilBoxing.com




Pete Apolinar fights undefeated Chinese Lingjie Xia for the vacant World Boxing Organization (WBO) Oriental featherweight title in Prime Stags Sports’ “Prime Fight III” on December 29, 2023, at the SM Sky Hall of SM Seaside City Cebu.

The 28-year-old Apolinar was 2-2 in his last four outings. He won the Oriental and Pacific Boxing Federation (OPBF) super bantamweight title by a 10th-round knockout of Jhunriel Ramonal in Parañaque City.

Apolinar dominated and stopped Ramonal with blows to the head to clinch the OPBF crown as he dropped Ramonal who could not beat the count.

He lost in his first title defense with a fifth-round knockout defeat to Yoshiki Takei in Japan. The Japanese referee stopped the bout at 2:07 of the fifth round when he saw Apolinar was wobbly after Takei targeted him with a short left straight.

Apolinar's corner was disappointed with the early stoppage as the San Pablo, Laguna fighter clearly still has more gas left in his tank. But he went down twice before the stoppage in the second and fourth rounds.

Later that year, Apolinar went back to Japan and was defeated by Hayato Tsutsumi by a unanimous decision. The 2016 AIBA youth champion and former thirteen-time national amateur champion, unbeaten featherweight prospect Tsutsumi defeated Apolinar as he dropped the Filipino with furious combinations in round six en route to a nearly shutout decision over eight rounds in Tokyo, Japan.

Tsutsumi, called “Next Monster” following “Monster” Naoya Inoue, had an amazing amateur slate of 88-6, 26 knockouts. His faster combinations had Apolinar on the defense all the way, and dropped him midway in round six.

Apolinar won his last fight, a lopsided unanimous decision over Reymond Empic of Dalaguete, Cebu at the Hoops Dome in Lapu-Lapu City on April 1.

Apolinar now serves as one of the sparring partners of the World Boxing Association (WBA) and International Boxing Federation (IBF) super bantamweight champion Marlon Tapales in Baguio City in his preparation for a world title unification bout with WBO and World Boxing Council (WBC) super bantamweight titlist Naoya Inoue on December 26 in Japan.

Xia is a former WBC Asian Continental lightweight champion. He won the title with a first round knockout of Thai Attanon Kunlawong in 2019. He won two successive fights against Filipino foes Landy Cris Leon and Arnel Baconaje both by unanimous decision in 2019. He was inactive during the pandemic from 2020 to 2021.

The 32-year-old Xia returned to the ring last April 1 in China. He outpointed Guangheng Luan by unanimous decision in a four-round fight.

Apolinar has a record of 17-4 with 10 knockouts, while Xia is 9-0-1 with two knockouts. Apolinar alias Thunder fought 130 rounds in 21 bouts with a KO rate of 58.82%.


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


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