DAPUDONG KOs BUTHELEZI IN 1st; WINS IBO JUNIOR BANTAM CROWN
By Manny Piñol
Sun, 16 Jun 2013
Johannesburg, South Africa – North Cotabato’s Edrin “The Sting” Dapudong scored a stunning first round knockout against South African champion Gideon Buthelezi winning in sensational fashion the International Boxing Organization (IBO) Junior Bantamweight title at the Emperor’s Palace Resort and Casino here tonight (2:30 a.m. Philippine Time).
The victory of the 27-year-old farmer’s son from Barangay Pag-asa, M’lang, North Cotabato also made him the first world boxing champion from North Cotabato and the first for the Braveheart Boxing Club which is owned by the Pinol Brothers.
Dapudong also vindicated himself following a controversial loss to Buthelezi in their first meeting also here on Nov. 10, 2012 where he knocked down the South African in the 9th round but two of the three judges gave the fight to Buthelezi by split decision.
Buthelezi entered the confidence oozing with confidence because of the support of the hometown crowd but Dapudong soon silenced the locals when he started connecting with hard punches to the midsection of the South African champion.
It was a gameplan which I and cornerman Reynaldo “Jeff” de Guzman designed to stop the agile former Olympian from running away as he did in the first fight.
At 2:30 of the 1st round, Dapudong dug a powerful right to the midsection of the lefthanded champion and as Buthelezi lowered his guard to protect his midsection, the Filipino challenger unleashed his signature left hook hitting the South African fighter right on the button.
Buthelezi fell to the canvas face down and American referee Robert Byrd counted out the South African champion at 2:39 of the first round.
Dapudong cried as he saw Byrd counting out Buthelezi. As I clambered to the ring to hug him, he told me: “Sir, your dream has been realized.”
Winning a world boxing title was a dream we started to weave when the 27-year-old new world champion was only 14 years old.
This was when I and my brothers, especially Noli and Socrates, started a grassroots boxing program which produced several boxing potentials.
Four attempts at the world title, however, proved fruitless, including Dapudong’s fight in Mexico and the last against Buthelezi.
Tonight, in far away South Africa, Dapudong finally caught up with the dream which has eluded us for so many years.
Dapudong’s victory tonight also ended the long streak of losses by Filipino fighters which started with Manny Pacquiao’s loss in December, including the defeats of Brian Viloria and Nonito Donaire, Jr.
Top photo: Dapudong is declared new champion by referee Robert Byrd with IBO Commissioner Charles Payne and cornerman Jeff de Guzman.
Dapudong following his victory with manager former Governor Manny Pinol, cornerman Jeff de Guzman and South African boxing trainer Gert Strydom who helped in the Filipino's corner.
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