Quijano: Rematches we would like to see this year

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By Jingo Quijano

Last Round

Tuesday, February 11, 2014


NOW that Manny Pacquiao-Timothy Bradley II is officially on, we have a mega-rematch we can all look forward to in April.

But that’s not all we want, of course. There are other rematches that are begging to be made, for the sake of fistic justice. Here’s our short list:

Timothy Bradley vs. Ruslan Prodnikov- In the first fight, Bradley won via unanimous decision in a barnburner that merited Fight of the Year honors.

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But he had to go through hell to earn that win. In the first round, he almost didn’t make it as he got bludgeoned from pillar to post by the rampaging Russian.

He slowly willed himself back into that fight and had gained control by the middle rounds as Provodnikov seemed to take a breather. But the challenger resumed the bombardment in the championship rounds and in the 12th, Bradley was on queer street again.

It was in that fight that Bradley felt he earned the respect from the boxing world that he so craved, and where he also legitimized his rather tenuous hold on those pound-for-pound rankings.

And because it was indeed the Fight of the Year for 2013, the other protagonist, Provodnikov certainly deserves some adulation as it takes two to tango and of course, a rematch.

Manny Pacquiao vs. Juan Manuel Marquez- Say what you will about Marquez, but the record books will forever bear witness that he knocked out Pacquiao with a single punch.

Call it a lucky shot, or a carefully timed counter-right hand- the bottom line is that, Manny never saw it coming.

And that one-punch knockout will forever nag at him, especially as it was delivered by his most fierce rival.

Four fights between them, a total of 42 rounds, two victories for Manny by decision, one for Marquez by knockout and one draw. And yet, incredibly, the question remains- Who is the better fighter?

One more time guys, please.

Donnie Nietes vs. Moises Fuentes- The first time they fought resulted in an inconclusive majority draw.

Nietes started out strong and dominated the early rounds, but Fuentes started landing body shots in the middle rounds which seemed to overwhelm “Ahas” Furious combinations unleashed by Fuentes had Nietes bleeding and backing up in the seventh and 8th rounds.

But Nietes regained his second wind in the tenth round and he landed several eye-catching right bombs in the championship rounds to finish the fight strong.

Expectedly, the Fuentes camp questioned Danrex Tapdasan’s appointment as one of the judges and in fact he was the only who scored it for Nietes at 115-113.

But if you look at the scores that were turned in, his tally only edged the identical 114-114 margins by a whisker.

Of course, let’s get a rematch to settle the score once and for all.

Nonito Donaire vs. Guillermo Rigondeaux- Nonito lost his lofty footing in the pound for pound rankings after falling asleep, er…prey to Rigo’s defensive prowess.

Nonito was at times beaten to the punch by the smaller Cuban and could not properly time his counters as the latter was forever shifting and retreating.

Of course, Nito was always in the fight and in the 10th round, he finally found a home for his left hook and down Rigo went. However, he could not follow up on that and Rigo coasted along to secure the win.

I have opined that Rigo will always be a stylistic nightmare for someone like Nonito who is a terrific counter-puncher. A mover like Rigo will strike and retreat, leaving nothing to counter.

But it would be interesting how a fighter as brilliant and cerebral as Donaire can solve a conundrum presented by Rigo.

Does he turn brawler from the get-go and press the action? Or does he opt to box and retreat using his height and reach advantage to land first and force Rigo out of his comfort zone?

Intriguing enough to merit a rematch, I say.

LAST ROUNDS. Are on several Aquarian buddies- Valerie Macapagal, Rommel Hapin and Atty Dennis Quiokeles who celebrate their birthdays this week. Cheers!

(jingo_quijano@yahoo.com)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 12, 2014.

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