Saturday, February 16, 2019

Quijano: Contrasting victories for Servania, Villanueva

ALA Gym’s next set of flagship fighters both passed their tests over the weekend at Solaire Resort Hotel in Manila, but they offered contrasting approaches in achieving their victories.

Genesis Servania (24-0, 10KOs) proved to be too good and too strong for former world champion Alexander Munoz (36-6, 28KOs) as he stopped the game Mexican with in the last round.

On the other hand, Arthur Villanueva had to fight tooth-and-nail for 12 rounds with last minute substitute Fernando Aguilar in a life-or-death struggle.

SERVANIA. Genesis wasted no time taking the fight to his opponent and in the second round, knocked him down with a cracking right. He continued to advance and impose his will on Munoz and in the ninth stanza, knocked him down with a body shot.

To his credit, Munoz landed his fair share of hooks and straights and was very active, but he lacked the power to seriously threaten the rampaging young champion from Bacolod City who continued to stalk his opponent relentlessly.

In the twelfth, a missed left hook set up a prodigious right hand from Servania that landed right on the button.

VILLANUEVA. Coming into this fight, Villanueva appeared to be the smoother, more polished fighter, while Servania offered the more feral approach.

There were very high expectations for “King Arthur” based alone on his recent performances. But the fight against Aguilar demonstrated that you can never really tell when a young fighter is ready for the prime time.

Back in 2012, Villanueva tasted the canvas twice against Taiko Eto in Japan, but showed heart in surviving the onslaught to win via close unanimous decision.

He then followed it up with impressive victories over Marco Demecillo (W U12) and Arturo Badillo (TKO 4).

Last Saturday, Villanueva lost the promise and poise he often displayed. Against the tactics employed by Aguilar, he appeared meek, and unprepared

In fairness to Villanueva, Aguilar reportedly had a better record than what was published and the ALA Gym fighter did gut it out till the very end.

That should be fair warning to all aspiring champions-never ever underestimate last-minute substitutes.

Perhaps you should bear in mind that one of the most popular last minute substitutes in boxing history is our very own boxing icon, Manny Pacquiao who happened to be training in the USA at the time Lehlohonolo Ledwaba’s original opponent became unavailable.

Pacquiao stepped in on two weeks notice and the rest as they say, is fistic history.
UFC 170. Over at the MMA world, Ronda Rousey’s much ballyhooed fight against Sara McMann ended in tad of controversy.

In the first round, both protagonists exchanged blows and were jockeying for position near the cage. Macmann even got the better of the exchanges.

But around the 1 minute mark, Rousey landed a knee to the liver and down went McMann.

Referee Herb Dean was quick to intervene and called a halt to the proceedings and signaled it was all over for the challenger.

But you can see that just as he was separating the two women, McMann had recovered enough was already attempting to grab Rousey even while she was down on her knees.

Some fans rued the stoppage as a bit premature as it can be reasonably argued that a fighter like McMann should have been given the benefit of the doubt. After all, it wasn’t like she was knocked out cold after receiving a head blow.

But then again, she was clearly defenseless for a few seconds and got the wind knocked out of her after that knee to the solar plexus

Perhaps she was only reaching out instinctively when she grabbed Rousey a few seconds later, but was actually still in no condition to continue. As they say, if you have to- better to err on the side of caution;

The classy competitor that she was, McMann offered no excuses in the post fight interview and even admitted she should have gotten up sooner.

Did you hear that Anderson Silva? At least the women know when to admit they actually lost a fight.

LAST ROUND. It’s on Elke Sharon Camenforte who celebrates her birthday today. Cheers!
Follow me on Twitter @thelastround
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