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WHAT'S NEXT FOR BOOM BOOM?


PhilBoxing.com


(Editor's note: This was published in the May 13, 2007 issue of "The Freeman.")

What?s Next for Boom Boom?

When ?The World Awaits? came to a close, more questions than answers were raised. Was that it? We all waited for this? Where was the promise of explosions that had the world waiting? Did Mayweather deserve to win/lose? And on and on and on. But we don?t want to dwell on these, do we? There?s a more important question that needs to be answered and it doesn?t even deal with the uneventful main event. We?re talking about the best fight of the night! We?re talking about one of our very own.

What?s next for Rey ?Boom Boom? Bautista? Is he for real? Is he ready for that world title fight? Is he still being fed patsies? Will he be the next world champ this year? Don?t look now, but the Philippines waited for May 6 to have their questions answered, and I?m not sure if anyone was disappointed with what they saw. Boom Boom Bautista is for real, and he?s the next big thing to come out of Philippine boxing. Believe it or not.

I have to admit that I?m obviously biased since I?ve had the chance to work up close with Boom Boom and the rest of Cebu Boxing. But don?t take it from me. Let?s check out other credible boxing people or analysts (who are more credible than me!). We decided to check out three websites and guess what we discovered.

?The Ring? magazine ranks Boom Boom # 6 among all junior featherweights. And guess who?s above him at #5: WBO super bantamweight champion Daniel Ponce de Leon who Boom Boom should be facing before the year is over. Below Boom Boom at # 7 was his Sunday victim Sergio Manuel Medina. The so-called bible of boxing recognizes Rafael Marquez as the division champion. An interesting highlight is that Bautista made it to the top ten of The Ring magazine ratings only after last Sunday?s fight. He dislodged Medina at # 6 who was in the top ten rankings for 109 weeks. The most respected magazine in boxing obviously had little respect for Boom Boom before May 6, but quickly recognized him after he defeated a boxer rated in the top ten of their own ratings.

Fightnews.com isn?t as generous to Boom Boom, pegging him at #9, while de Leon is #3. Medina is down at #15. Marquez is also considered as the best in the division in this ranking. Among the more familiar names ranked around Boom Boom include fellow Wild Card gym rat Israel Vasquez and Celestino Caballero. Worldboxingmedia.com ranks Boom Boom at #6 with de Leon at # 3. Marquez and Vasquez are the top two with Jhonny Gonzales and Caballero at #4 and #5 respectively.

But what does this all mean? Why all the fuss with the rankings?

For starters, it?s important to note that the different boxing analysts are finally recognizing Boom Boom. I didn?t even include the various world rankings since these aren?t as credible as those of the boxing media. For the record, the WBO has Boom Boom ranked #1. But the WBC, WBA and IBF no longer rank him since last Sunday?s fight was an official WBO title-eliminator fight. I guess this meant an automatic forfeit of his ranking in the other boxing organizations.

If all these boxing analysts now recognize Boom Boom, it also means he?s truly world class and a prime candidate for a world championship. This, however doesn?t guaranty that Boom Boom is going to be a world champion. Behind the scenes, I can already see those who tagged the ALA Boys as mere ?press release? champions telling everyone that Boom Boom hasn?t done anything yet. If and when Boom Boom wins a world title, the first person I?m approaching (if I can) will be those who tagged Cebu Boxing as products of press release champions.

Last Sunday?s win was truly a litmus test: the test of all tests to see if Boom Boom was ready for a world championship fight. All those criticisms that all his foes were patsies went down the drain with this win. I just hope that all those doubts and questions have now been answered and that we all support Boom Boom?s drive for a championship.

Sunday?s win has put a close to Bautista?s ?regular season? career, and it?s time to shift into high gear and into the real thing. It?s playoffs time where every win counts and there?s no looking back. Just when you thought that everything is going to be easy, think again. You can be sure that all of Boom Boom?s next fights will be tougher than the Medina fight.

Let Boom Boom celebrate and enjoy the comforts of Bohol for a while, but he has to get back to the gym with a greater hunger, focus and determination for the road up ahead just got steeper. It is our wish that Boom Boom remain to be the humble and hardworking gym rat that he is, and that all the money, fame and success don?t go to his head. This is where his manager Michael Aldeguer, trainer Edito Villamor and ALA himself will have to be more vigilant in guiding the young upstart to make the right decisions and maintain the correct frame of mind needed for the task on hand.

We all know what?s next for Boom Boom. But in the end, the only person who?s going to make it happen will be no other than Rey Bautista himself. Go Boom Boom!


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Rico Navarro.


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