3 More Rounds

“Boom Boom” Bautista disappointing, but developing

Rey “Boom Boom” Bautista got the win, but the people wanted to see him take it.

As one of the headliners of Saturday night’s “Pinoy Pride 25” card, Bautista was more or less expected to put on an effort that will make fans forget of his split decision loss to Jose Ramirez in Davao last year.

When he took on the stage for the first round of his match against Sergio Villanueva, one can hear the cornermen shouting. After the noise settled down from the dark matches, everyone obviously was waiting to see “Boom Boom”, with deafening silence from a crowd seemingly more cautious about the fighter than the fighter himself.

After the typical feeling-out round one or two, this observer noted how at this level, boxers are generally, well, more cautious. But it turned out to be one long feeling-out process for Bautista and the audience.

From time to time, instead of exploding like dynamite as his alias suggests, he would sneak only slightly cleaner shots while Villanueva targeted his body with longer reach. The longer the fight proceeded, the more the people looked for the “boom”. From time to time, too, the banger from Bohol would merely show some life to kill the foe in front of him, who maintained charge, like a true Mexican fighter.

But to the judges, “El Cuate” did not do enough to snatch the road win in the uninspiring 10-round match. The scores were 97-93 and 96-94 twice, as the crowd cheered seemingly more because of relief than celebration.

Bautista’s team took the unanimous decision, but unanimously, they don’t seem to be too happy with his fight. His management expressed as much in the press conference reviewing and grading the performance of their fighters on the night.

According to promoter Michael Aldeguer of ALA, the 27-year-old has been under a microscope since he was an up-and-coming fighter, and that such high expectations of course affected him. Already relatively successful at 35-3, with 25 KOs, Aldeguer referred to his ward as still a “work in progress” and stated that they look for him to be more mature after this fight, especially at his new weight class of 130.

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