Faith in Bautista

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Tuesday, May 13, 2014


MORE than 10 years after he was touted as the next great boxing star, Rey Bautista had to dust off some ring rust in his ring return last Saturday in Pinoy Pride 25. Though there were still some flaws in his game, ALA Gym head trainer Edito Villamor has high hopes for Bautista’s future.

“I’ll score 80 percent for his performance. At least, we have seen a change in his style of fighting. We are contented with what he showed with him coming off a one-year layoff,” Villamor told Sun.Star Cebu. “He needs to throw more jabs to set up his opponent and he needs to throw more combinations. I believe he wants to be in the 130-pound division.”

The 27-year-old Bautista beat Mexican prospect Sergio Villanueva by unanimous decision last Saturday night at the Mall of Asia Arena ending his brief retirement from boxing.

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Bautista showed some head movement and defense, the aspect in which he lacks, but he was a bit sluggish and would constantly clinch Villanueva.

Bautista walked away with scores of 96-94, 96-94, and, 97-93, to improve his record to 35-3 with 25 Kos.

Bautista retired from boxing last year after suffering a split decision loss to Jose Ramirez in Davao City in a fight that he was badly beaten up.

But with his renewed vigor, Villamor, ALA Gym founder Antonio L. Aldeguer and ALA Promotions president Michael Aldeguer all believe that Bautista can revive his once promising career.

“Yes I believe he can still fight for a world title. He has a huge chance because that is the plan of Sir ALA (Antonio Aldeguer) and Sir Mike (Aldeguer),” said Villamor.

Bautista was once regarded as the next boxing superstar who would succeed Manny Pacquiao. However, that all ended when he suffered a first-round knockout loss at the hands of Daniel Ponce de Leon in the only world title fight of his career.

Following that loss, Bautista suffered a hand injury that he hid from his handlers, which could have ended his career. He had two more losses against Heriberto Ruiz and Ramirez.

But despite all the setbacks, Bautista continues to work extra hard every day in the hopes of turning his career around.

“We believe in him a hundred percent because of his determination and dedication to his training just like what we saw in him 10 years ago.”

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

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