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“Boom Boom", Vegas New Rising Filipino Boxing Star


PhilBoxing.com




The moment he entered the ring was the moment Rey “Boom Boom” Bautista showed he meant business. Except for the first round, he was the aggressor, putting his opponent, Sergio Manuel Medina the knockout artist and undefeated boxer from Argentina, in line and putting the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino crowd on their toes. It was no doubt one of the best fights of the night on a Cinco de Mayo Las Vegas spectacle.

Their fight was a WBO super bantamweight title eliminator and whoever wins would fight Daniel Ponce De Leon, the champion of the 122-pound division later in the year. Ponce de Leon just successfully defended his title against another Filipino stand-out, Gerry Pe?alosa last March 17, 2007 at Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino.

Bautista opened the first round with a left jab to Medina’s forearm. However, Medina was more aggressive and landed more punches which earned him the round. Bautista was warned three times from the first round ‘til the third round for low blows and finally got a one-point deduction by Referee Robert Byrd in the fifth round as Medina successfully covered his body with his forearms down to the belt line. Most of the first half of the fight was characterized by Boom Boom cornering Medina against the ropes and finally putting him down with a left hook in the sixth round which appeared to be a pushed punch to the face. Nevertheless, it was counted a knockdown. However, it was not the end for Medina as he showed why he was called “Rocky.” He came back in the seventh round with flurries of punches that shocked and stunned Bautista groping and holding for the rope while Medina still continued his barrages of punches left and right.

Referee Byrd intervened and called it a knockdown as Bautista was holding on the rope which have saved Bautista and gave him ample time to regain his composure. Although, Bautista was still reeling from the effect of the knockdown and was still hesitant in the eight, the rounds thereafter belong to him on a toe to toe fight that catapulted on another knockdown of Medina in the eleventh round with a right swing to the face.

Bautista and Medina’s fight was an undercard of the much heralded Oscar Dela Hoya vs. Floyd Mayweather fight, billed as the fight that would save boxing. No doubt, both Boom Boom Bautista and Sergio Medina’s boxing skills, showmanship and toughness during the whole 12 rounds earned them accolades win or loss, earned them loyal fans and help save boxing on their own fashion, as well.

Rey confessed after the fight, “Medina was like a rock, I have given all I have and they were not enough to finish him down. I got so tired.” Boom Boom survived the closest fight of his life and remained undefeated on a unanimous decision. Judge C.J. Ross and Judge Paul Smith both scored it 115-109 and Judge Dave Moretti scored it 116-108 all for Bautista.

Another Filipino sensation fighting in the same card Alex John “Bazooka” Banal won unanimously over Mexican Juan Alberto Rosas in their scheduled super flyweight 10-round fight.

It was a very fitting win for Rey “Boom Boom” Bautista whose life was just dramatized in ABS-CBN’s TV programming of “Maalaala Mo Kaya” just a day before the fight and whose first words after the fight were “Mabuhay ang Pilipinas,” “Long Live the Philippines.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Rod Mijares.


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