Quijano: Contender series gets the judge to the gym-A A +A
Saturday, October 6, 2012
I finally found the perfect excuse to drag my favorite judge to the gym yesterday.
Waterfont Hotel Cebu City’s Citigym unveiled its mid-2012 “Contender” boxing event and of course, your friendly neighborhood boxing columnist wouldn’t miss it for the world.
Not that I needed any prodding either as I have always enjoyed each installment, and yesterday’s flagship event conceptualized by its accomplished Fitness Director Anne Manubag was no exception.
I missed the first two bouts as I was tardy, but I accomplished my mission as the wifey was finally able to start her workout regimen while I watched the fights.
Now the next challenge is how to sustain it.
THE FIGHTS. The two-minute, three-round bouts were competitive and the progression of the fights was quite brisk.
Carlos Siguan defeated Kelly Viado by decision. The next bout was a David vs. Goliath matchup between Christian “Cool Cat” Villanueva and Rafael “Mighty Mouse” Lupian.
I thought the little guy’s speed was too much for his opponent, but two of the three judges inexplicably ruled in favor of Villanueva.
Michael Siatong was too much for Von Martin and the latter handily romped off with the UD victory.
MMA fighter Leo Gaerlan tested the mettle of Ian “The Magician” Haigh in an exhibition bout. Gaerlan was the aggressor all throughout and utilized his considerable fight experience to land the more accurate blows. Haigh kept things honest with a stinging counter hook which would land every now and then. It was ruled a draw.
The next bout was billed as an exhibition match between the towering Joseph “Big Slow Monster” Krawczyk and Dax “The Muslim” Sandalo. The match began with the quintessential feeling out first round with punches thrown at half-torque, but things heated up in the second.
Krawcyzk used his longer reach to fire off jabs and utilized lateral movement, but the more compact Sandalo would connect with a bludgeoning right hand every now and then.
I thought Krawcyzk’s busier work rate merited a win but since it was an exhibition bout, the verdict was a draw.
The main event was a barnburner with Luigi “Wonder Boy” Gaid, undefeated in Contender tournaments, squaring off against rising MMA star Vaughn Donayre.
Gaid seemed stronger and more pinpoint with his punching in the first round, but Donayre eventually found his groove and landed some powerful combinations in the second round.
The third round was close, but I thought Vaughn owned it with his aggression and cleaner, more effective punching. However, the judges thought otherwise and gave it to Gaid.
TUH! Much-needed comic relief was provided by one the referees. Every time he wanted call a halt to the action to untangle the fighters, he would mutter a strange edict, which to us at ringside sounded like “Tuh!”
Pitifully unable to decipher his strange and cryptic incantations with their headgears on, the boxers would continue fighting---which of course drew an admonition from Mr. Tuh.
This elicited a lot of guffaws from the crowd composed mostly of close friends and family of the fighters.
This prompted me to ask the very engaging Sales and Marketing Manager Julia Siscar who was seated beside me “what tuh hell was going on?”
VERBATIM. “He’s cleared a lot of the bad stuff out of his life (marital issues, ownership of a nightclub and a cock farm, etc., both of which he sold.) He even wrote me a note about this fight. It said, ‘I’ve got to knock him out.’” ---Freddie Roach on Manny Pacquiao (www.latimes.com)
LAST ROUND. It’s on the indefatigable GM of Harold’s Hotel Hembler Mendoza, who recently celebrated his birthday. Cheers!
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 07, 2012.