One-round disasters

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In the history of world championship boxing, 11 Filipino fighters have lost by a first round knockout. The consolation is there were nine world title bouts where Filipinos won in similar blitz fashion.

The latest to bow out inside three minutes was Richard Claveras of Silay City, Negros Occidental. Last weekend, he was counted out at 2:31 of the first round by referee Jerry Cantu in failing to wrest the WBC lightflyweight crown from Pedro Guevara at the Centro de Usos Multiples in Mazatlan, Sinaloa, Mexico.

From the start, fans knew it would be a short-lived encounter with both fighters boasting of high KO rates. Claveras entered the ring with a 12-0-2 record. All his wins were by KO, including eight in the first round. Guevara had won three of his last four outings within the distance and showed up with two first round KOs in his resume.  His motivation wasn’t just to retain the belt but also to destroy Claveras in avenging a humiliating defeat by split decision to Filipino Johnriel Casimero in his hometown in 2012. Guevara’s record was 24-1-1, with 16 KOs.

When the first bell rang, Claveras and Guevara came out smoking like they had an early dinner date. They didn’t want to prolong the suspense, they looked to end it fast. Claveras struck with a left uppercut and a right straight to catch Guevara’s attention in the first minute. But Guevara wouldn’t back off. The Mexican staggered Claveras with an overhand right to the head then threw a vicious left hook to the right side of the body.

Claveras dropped to his knees and took the 10-count. According to Filipino judge Rey Danseco, Claveras’ team was speechless and shocked. Claveras was expected to blow Guevara away but it turned out the other way around. Danseco, Humberto Olivares of Mexico and Tom Taylor of California were the judges in the Guevara-Claveras fight. They never got to scribble on their scoresheets.

Filipino pride Judge Rey Danseco, center, with his fellow officials in the WBC light flyweight champion Pedro Guevara versus Richard Claveras on April 11 in Mazatlan, Mexico. From left, supervisor, Atty. Juan Carlos Pelayo, judge Tom Taylor, Danseco, Mexico’s Humberto Olivarez, and American referee Jerry Cantu. (Photo courtesy of WBC)

Filipino pride Judge Rey Danseco, center, with his fellow officials in the WBC light flyweight champion Pedro Guevara versus Richard Claveras on April 11 in Mazatlan, Mexico. From left, supervisor, Atty. Juan Carlos Pelayo, judge Tom Taylor, Danseco, Mexico’s Humberto Olivarez, and American referee Jerry Cantu. (Photo courtesy of WBC)

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It was an optional defense by Guevara as Claveras is ranked only No. 14 by the WBC. Three Filipinos are ranked higher – No. 3 Jonathan Taconing, No. 4 Rey Loreto and No. 10 Rene Patilano. Taconing has won his last eight assignments, including a 10th round stoppage of former WBO champion Ramon Garcia Hirales in Mexico two weeks ago. The word is Taconing will face No. 1 contender Ganigan Lopez of Mexico in an eliminator to determine Guevara’s mandatory challenger.

The first Filipino to lose by a first round KO in a world title fight was Diego De Villa who was starched by Joo Do Chun in an IBF junior bantamweight championship bout in Kwangju in 1984.

The other Filipino first round victims were Al Coquilla who lost to Lester Ellis in an IBO superlightweight title fight in Australia in 1994, Rolando Pascua who lost to Johnny Bredahl in an IBO bantamweight title fight in Denmark in 1996, Rico Siodora who lost toKongtawat Oraithaigym in a WBF featherweight title fight in Cagayan de Oro in 1998,Eric Jamili who lost to Zolani Petelo in an IBF minimumweight title fight in South Africa in 1999, Malcolm Tuñacao who lost to Pongsaklek Wonjongkam in a WBC flyweight title fight in Thailand in 2001, Rey (Boom Boom) Bautista who lost to Daniel Ponce de Leon in a WBO superbantamweight title fight in Sacramento in 2007, Gabriel Pumar who lost to Nkosinathi Joyi in an IBO minimumweight title fight in South Africa in 2007, Sonny Boy Jaro who lost to Giovani Segura in a WBA lightflyweight title fight in Mexico in 2009 and Ciso Morales who lost to Fernando Montiel in a WBO bantamweight title fight in Las Vegas in 2010.

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On the flip side, the Filipinos who won in a world title fight by a first round KO wereFlash Elorde who beat Harold Gomes in San Francisco and Sergio Caprari in Manila, both for the world junior lightweight title in 1960, Roberto Cruz who beat Raymundo (Battling) Torres for the vacant WBA junior welterweight title in Los Angeles in 1963, Ben Villaflor who beat Kuniaki Shibata in a WBA superfeatherweight title fight in Hawaii in 1973, Luisito Espinosa who beat Khaokor Galaxy in a WBA bantamweight title fight in Thailand in 1989, Manny Pacquiao who beat Fahprakorb Rakkiatgym in an IBF superbantamweight title fight in Davao City in 2002, Brian Viloria who beat Eric Ortiz in a WBC lightflyweight title fight in Los Angeles in 2005, Edrin Dapudong who beat Gideon Buthelezi in an IBO superflyweight title fight in South Africa in 2013 and Loreto who beat Joyi in an IBO lightflyweight title fight in South Africa last month.

Loreto pushed through with the fight against Joyi despite a shortened training period due to an appendectomy. But he agreed to fly to South Africa for the twice-postponed bout only because he needed the money to finish a modest home under construction in Davao City for his one-year-old son and Japanese girlfriend. Loreto made short work of Joyi in a courageous performance. The problem is South African promoter Siphanto Handi hasn’t given his $40,000 purse and $2,000 training allowance.

The usual boxing practice is purses are settled immediately after the fight. Apparently, the IBO is an exception to the rule. Loreto was given only a $1,000 advance by formerNorth Cotabato Gov. Manny Piñol who arranged the fight. To this day, Loreto hasn’t been paid by Handi. Surely, this travesty must be exposed with the Games and Amusements Board moving heaven and earth to force the settlement of the obligation.

(REPRINTED from Philstar.com)

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