Gasca loses IBO title fight in Africa

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Sunday, August 10, 2014


THAT ever elusive International Boxing Organization (IBO) super bantamweight crown has once again slipped past the grasp of Roli Gasca after losing to an overweight Thabo Sonjica yesterday at the Emperor’s Palace in Kempton Park, Gauteng, South Africa.

Sonjica used his huge size advantage over Gasca to carve out a unanimous decision win, 116-109, 116-109 and 117-109.

“For me, he really lost the fight because the opponent was so big,” ALA Gym coach Edito Villamor, who was at Gasca’s corner, told Sun.Star Cebu.

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Gasca weighed-in below the super bantamweight limit of 121 pounds, while Sonjica came into the fight a division higher at 126 pounds.

Despite the huge size difference, Gasca dropped Sonjica in the seventh round. However, Gasca was also decked in the 11th round and was deducted a point in the ninth round, which Villamor believes was spotty officiating by the referee.

“We were mad because Gasca was deducted a point and the opponent wasn’t. The opponent punched Gasca at the back of the head and the referee only gave warnings, while Gasca was given a deduction for holding. They were even booed even though they won,” said Villamor.

Sonjica improved to 20-2 with 14 knockouts, while Gasca dropped to 22-5 with six knockouts.

Gasca once fought for the IBO super bantamweight title back in 2012 and lost by unanimous decision against Alexander Bakhtin in Russia.

The 25-year-old Cebuano gained prominence in Asia after an upset knockout win over world-rated Tabtimdaeng Na Rachawat in 2010 to win the Pan Asian Boxing Association bantamweight belt. EKA

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 11, 2014.

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