Philippines, 02 Mar 2021
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BANAL-HIDALGO FIGHT: Mexicans say Filipino Ref did a good job in stopping the contest


PhilBoxing.com




This past Saturday night at the beautiful Waterfront Hotel and Casino was another epic grand slam event by ALA Promotions staging Pinoy Pride XIII in the beautiful city of Cebu in the Philippines. The event featured two young up and coming Mexicans, Raul "EL BULE" Hidalgo and Javier "El Chivero" Franco of Chihuahua, Mexico.

The Mexicans were suppose to arrive on the evening of March 20, but with terrible weather in Mexico and with mother nature not in their corner, they were delayed until 1pm March 22, arriving one full day before the official weigh in. They had also a delay in Japan were the plane they were on was delayed for 4 hours.

When they finally arrived in Hong Kong, they could not get a plane direct to Cebu, and after they finally secured a flight to Cebu, they had spent 15 long and exhausting hours in the Hong Kong airport. This would definitely take a lot out of a boxer physically and mentally.

They had 24 hours to reduce any extra weight they had accumulated during there travel to the Philippines. Javier Franco was 1 1/2 pounds overweight and could not reduce the weight so by the rules of the Boxing Commission of the Philippines, he had to wear 10 oz. gloves instead of 8 oz. gloves as his opponent Rocky Fuentes will use the 8 oz. gloves. This is surely another setback for the feisty Mexican. The Mexican knew this will be a tough fight against a top 5 world rated fighter in the four major boxing sanctioning bodies. The Mexican knew this could be a breakthrough fight for his career if he can pull out a win. The feisty Mexican did all he could do to win his biggest fight of his career. It turned out that the bigger gloves and arriving late to Cebu was a disadvantage to the punching power of Franco and he fell to the tough pounding and technical skills by Rocky Fuentes.

Former World Champion Eric Morales was very impressed with Franco in his fight with his younger brother Ivan Morales last year as Morales won a split decision. The fans were very disappointed with the decision that they pelted the ring with bottles and cans knowing Franco was robbed of a victory. Morales is very interested in signing this young fighter as he has the skills to become bigger and better.

The fight that the whole boxing community in the Philippines are talking about is the fight between world rated Filipino AJ Banal against Mexican Raul Hidalgo, on whether the referee prematurely stopped the fight against Hidalgo. The Mexican boxer got hit on the side of the head by a vicious punch by Banal that Hidalgo was stunned and his legs were in a state of convulsion that referee Danrex Tapdasan stopped the fight as he sensed the Mexican was in danger.

Team Mexico was shocked. The trainer Franco Gabaldon was protesting to referee Tapdasan that why did he stop the fight when Hidalgo was just stunned and got his senses back in 2 seconds. Actually, as I was assisting Team Hidalgo in the corner, I felt it was a good stoppage by Tapdasan and told him, "Thank you for doing a good job in protecting Hidalgo." To have let the fighter live to fight another day.

Team Hidalgo was still mad at the stoppage and didn't want to accept the outcome. While watching the replay in the beautiful hotel room at Waterfront Hotel, Team Mexico and I were watching the replay and finally came to the conclusion that they weren't robbed in the fight -- that it was actually a good stoppage and that they praised referee Tapdasan for the professionalism he imposed on the fight as he had a better view of the action.

Raul Hidalgo can fight another day and was sad because he knows deep in his heart he could have given a better performance for the Filipino fans, but that's boxing and you continue to do your best.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Mike Angel Lopez.


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