Quijano: Daredevils Drian and Denver

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By Jingo Quijano

Last Round

Wednesday, October 3, 2012


TWO wins registered by Pinoy pugs in enemy territory over the weekend have added more color and depth to our fistic landscape.

Streaking Denver Cuello knocked down Ivan Meneses in the very first round but subsequently suffered an injury forcing him to hang on and eke out a unanimous decision win in Michoacan de Ocampo, Mexico.

While in Sonora, Mexico, Drian Francisco finished off Jose Carlos Vargas in the very first round.

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HOMETOWN ADVANTAGE. Francisco carries a record of 23 wins with 18 knockouts and only one loss which came via close decision to Thai Tepparith Kokietgym.

Prior to that loss, Francisco won the interim WBA super flyweight title when he stopped the Thai’s stable-mate Duanpetch Kokietgym. He also owns a decision win over another formidable Pinoy pug, Michael Domingo of the ALA Gym stable.

Of late, Cuello (31-4, 21KOs) is a monster on a warpath. After a DQ loss in 2010, he won all his next ten fights via the short route with only Meneses escaping the kayo scourge.

Their performances brought to mind a recent discourse between a visiting Mexican boxing manager and the local media.

When pressed why Mexican boxers who visit the Philippines always end up losing, he retorted that they are actually wondering the same thing in Mexico.

Touche’ I say. Maybe it’s all about that coveted hometown advantage.

But one thing’s for sure, if we send out the likes of Drian and Denver everytime, I’m sure I won’t be hearing witty repartees from our Mexican guests at the next press conference.

HATTON COMEBACK. It is often rationalized that to a retired prize-fighter, the actual fighting that happens on top of a ring is like a drug.

The addiction is so great and they all pine for it, and more often that not, to
ruinous consequences.

The latest to be bit by the comeback bug is Ricky Hatton (45-2, 32KOs) who is set to duke it out with Vyascheslav Senchenko next month at the MEN Arena in London.

I was lucky enough to visit the UK earlier this year, and though I was unable to visit Manchester where Hatton hails from, I heard that the “Hitman” is treated like local royalty there.

The last time we saw Ricky on top of a ring, he was eviscerated by Manny Pacquiao in 2 rounds.

Depressed and dejected about the loss, Hatton moped around and boozed himself up to over 200lbs. He was also photographed apparently sniffing cocaine and checked himself into a rehab center.

As far as comebacks go, I’m sitting on the fence on this one.

Ricky is one fighter that I truly wish can get back on his feet and get his life back. At his peak, his bruising, take-no-prisoners approach was fan-friendly and he always gave it all in every fight.

But age 34, Ricky is not being realistic when he declares he is making his comeback to win a world title.

But I give him all the props for choosing Senchenko for his opponent in his comeback effort.

The Ukrainian is four inches taller at 5’10” and carries an impressive record of 31-1, and 21 KOs with the lone blemish inflicted by the feather- fisted Paul Malignaggi in his last fight.

We all know that most comebacks often end up disastrously. Who can forget how Muhammad Ali embarked on an ill-starred comeback against Trever Berbick a year after he was humiliated by Larry Holmes?

Or how Sugar Ray Leonard was disgraced in 5 rounds when he returned to the ring after 6 years in retirement against Hector “Macho” Camacho?

Of course on the other end of the spectrum, you have Vitali Klitschko who became a heavyweight champion again after a 4-year hiatus.

In Hatton’s case, the fact that he is returning to the same weight class is a hopeful sign as long as he can whip himself up into decent shape.

We all know he was never the smoothest of fighters and his success was predicated upon power, precise body punching and stamina. If he can at least get two of those back when he fights next month, he’ll be okay.

But if you ask me again tomorrow, I’ll probably change my mind.

LAST ROUNDS. Are on newly-minted couple Jovencio “Benjie” Siarza Jr. and Analin R. Siarza. Cheers!

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 03, 2012.

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