Polio stricken boxer KO’s Japanese foe for WBC crown

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Tuesday, May 13, 2014


BAGUIO -- Having a disability did not hamper Jeffrey Arienza from pursuing his dream of becoming a professional boxer.

And Arienza finally made history recently by knocking out his Japanese opponent to win the vacant WBC Youth World lightweight title at the La Trinidad Municipal gym.

Arienza was against all odds prior to the fight with his polio but rather made good use of it to launch his attacks against Takaya Kakutani.

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"Hindi po hadlang yung kapansanan ko kasi lagi ko pugn iniisip na pag gusto mo walang magiging hadlang," said the 23-year-old Surigao native who now trains at the Elorde Gym in Paranaque City.

The Japanese started the first round with his double straight jab combinations and dictated the tempo of the opening round.

But Areinza made his move in the second round as he countered the Japanese with his multiple punching combinations before sneaking in a right hook to send Kakutani to the canvass.

The wily Japanese fighter however managed to get up as Arienza sensed Kakutani was in deep trouble after the first knock down.

“Sa first round talagang pinag-aralan ko muna yung galaw pero nung second round na, alam ko na yung timing nung mga suntok niya kaya pinasok ko na,” Areinza added.

It was only a matter of time for Kakutani to go down but still managed to stand for the second time and Arienza finally landed a vicious straight and another hook to end the bout at 1:10 in the second round.

“Akala ko nung unang bagsak niya di na siya babangon pero malakas pa rin talaga kaya sinabi ko na dapat mapabagsak ko na siya sa second round para din a makabawi,” Arienza continued.

Areinza’s victory is his 11th in professional boxing with six knock outs and two losses including one draw.

The newly crowned world boxing champion also avenged his loss last year against a Japanese fighter when he also fought for the same title suffering a 10th round TKO.

“Gusto ko talagang makabawi sa hapon kasi nung huli yung referi ang huminto ng laban kaya talagang gusto kong manalo,” quipped Areinza.

The world title bout at La Trinidad Municipal Gym was a production of Highland Boxing Promotions and Thailand promoter Naris Singwancha in association with the Municipality of La Trinidad, Benguet and V.I.E.S.

Consultancy, with special thanks to Mr. Jay Sobrepena, Camp John Hay Manor, Happy Homes Development and The Training Center Inc.(Sun.Star Baguio)

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on May 14, 2014.

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