Philippines, 23 Feb 2018
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News  


Louie's night


PhilBoxing.com


It was a thin crowd that came to the San Andres Civic and Sports Center in Manila to witness the fights held to raise funds for former world champion Luisito Espinosa, but it was a successful event nevertheless.

Even before the first tickets could be sold, supporters of Louie have pledged P150,000 to help him in his legal battle to claim his purse for a fight held in Koronadal, South Cotabato in 1997 amounting to P8.4 million.


World boxing sensation Manny Pacquiao gave out free tickets to the first 1,000 spectators thus contributing P100,000 to the fund raising. Manila Mayor Lito Atienza approved the release of P50,000 while Sports Radio listeners through anchorman Edwin Sese and his partner raised P10,000.

The walk-in spectators, however, contributed a measly P4,000 bringing the total funds to P164,000.

I have asked Manny Pacquiao to personally hand his P100,000 contribution to Louie when they meet in the United States sometime this month where Manny will start his prepration for his rematch with Erik Morales while the remaining amount will be turned over to the Games and Amusements Board (GAB) to be given to Luisito the moment he comes home to the Philippines.

But while the crowd was not big, it was a great night of boxing as the two Philippine championship fights that served as the main feature of the event turned out to be very exciting encounters.

Philippine junior bantamweight champion Eric Barcelona., defending his title for the fifth time, all thought that it was gong to be a night of easy sailing for him as he pummelled challenger Celso Dangod, himself a former miniflyweight champion, with effective shots to the head and the body in the first six rounds.

His overconfidence nearly did him in. In theseventh round, Dangod, who was on the verge of giving up the fight, caught Barcelona with a crisp right to the jaw that staggered the champion. The challenger followed this up with a similar shot that sent Barcelona to the canvas for a mandatory eight count.

Only Barcelona's superb conditioning saved the day for him as he survived the round and retained hiis title by split decision.

The lightweight championship was a classic example of a seasoned champion fighting a raw talent.

Fernando Montilla,the reigning lightweight champion, saw a chink in the armor of challenger Dexter Delada and caught him with a left cross to the chin in the second that sent the lanky challenger to the canvas for a count of eight.

A follow up attack to the body scored for Montilla another knockdown and everybody thought the fight was over. But Delada survived the round and surprised Montilla with a stinging left to the face in the 3rd riound that sent the champion to the canvas for a mandatory eight count.

In the fourth, however, experience prevailed as the older Montilla kept on connecting with effective punches to the face of the challenger scoring two more knockdowns, the last of which ended the fight when the referee, Bruce McTavish, called in the doctor to check the badly hurt Delada.

And so the night featured fights that boxing fans will be talking about over cups of coffee and bottles of beer for sometime.

But it was a night that should be remembered not only for the great fights, but for the love that the people showed for a former world champion who had given the Filipino people many happy and exciting moments in the past .

Now, Louie can smile with the thought that many people still care for him and love him.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Manny Piņol.


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