Apolinar, Xia settle to a draw

Apolinar (Black Shorts) Xia (Glittered Shorts) / EKA
Apolinar (Black Shorts) Xia (Glittered Shorts) / EKA

PETE Apolinar (17-4-1, 10 KOs) fought unbeaten Chinese Lingjie Xia (9-0-2, 2 KOs) to a majority draw in their World Boxing Organization (WBO) Oriental featherweight title fight in the main event of Prime Stags Sports’ “Prime Fight III” on Friday, Dec. 29, 2023, at the SM Sky Hall of SM Seaside City in Cebu City.

It was an action-packed fight with both fighters trading heavy blows.

After 12 rounds, judge Edward Ligas scored 115-113 for Apolinar, while judges Aquil Tamano and Neil Papas had identical scores of 114-114.

“I think Pete landed the bigger punches in the early rounds. The Chinese was more active in the middle rounds but I think Pete got the later rounds. He had the bigger shots and almost knocked out the Chinese. I accept the draw but we would like to have a rematch,” said Prime Stags Sports vice president Pocholo Padilla. “We would like to promote the rematch around March or April.”

Apolinar is now 17-4-1 with 10 knockouts, while Xia remained undefeated with a record of 9-0-2 with two knockouts.

Ex-world champion Milan Melindo (40-6, 14 KOs) is back to his winning ways after a convincing unanimous decision victory over Tanzanian Mchanja Yohana (14-6-1, 12 KOs) in a 10-round super bantamweight bout in the co-main event.

Melindo outboxed the slippery Yohana and got the nod of all three judges with scores of 98-92, 98-92 and 97-93.

Kit Ceron Garces (7-1, 5 KOs) outclassed Harry Nier (4-2, 2 KOs) by a one-sided unanimous decision to win the PBF flyweight strap.

Michael Adolfo (5-2, 3 KOs) knocked out Albert Parilla ( 4-2, 4 KOs) with a body shot near the end of the sixth round to claim the vacant PBF super bantamweight belt.

Kier Espere (6-5, 2 KOs) stopped Ian Donaire (5-3-1, 4 KOs) in the second round to bag the vacant PBF bantamweight belt.

In the undercard, Renan Portes (13-16, 6 KOs) defeated Jason Canoy (28-12-2, 19 KOs) by unanimous decision, John Ver Espra (2-3, 2 KOs) won via a first round technical knockout of Celmar Abejuela (0-1), John Magos (2-0, 1 KO) scored a first round stoppage of Jomari Ladera (2-7, 1 KO) and Joperson Trazo (1-0) had a successful pro debut with a unanimous decision win over Michael Omallao (0-2).

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