3 More Rounds

Notes from Pinoy Pride 25


Everything else you missed at the Filipino boxing extravaganza.

Saturday night at the SM Mall of Asia Arena, ALA Promotions, as strong as ever, produced the twenty fifth version of the “biggest boxing show in Asia”, featuring some of the top Filipino fighters from the said stable. In the opening showcase, JK Elorde, grandson of the great Filipino champion Gabriel “Flash” Elorde, finally went the distance (of four rounds) against fellow Filipino Jeffrey Garcia. Hoping to be champion like his grandfather someday, the 20-year-old is undefeated in four fights so far at the super featherweight division, all against debutantes.

The follow-up match was between Reymi Castellano Aleye of Cuba and Warren Mambuanag  of the Philippines. And it started out with a bang! As in bang, bang—two low blows in round one! A lot of time was taken by Mambuanag to recover both times, but surprisingly, despite the evident foul hits, no deductions were given. After embracing his opponent to apologize, to cheers and jeers from the crowd, Aleye separated himself in the second round with his comparatively blazing hand speed. It looked like Aleye was outclassing his opponent as evidenced by the latter’s terribly missed overhands. This must have made Mambuanag tired, but to Aleye, the opposite, as the chair was not even planted at his corner when they waited for the fifth– at which point he finally cracked him down. Aleye went for the kill, even as Mambuanag feebly attempted to show head-and-body movement, desperately trying to keep in control until referee Danrex Tapdasan halted the fight, possibly prematurely as the finish was intensifying. Castellano (5-0, 2 KOs) looks to be based in the Philippines as his last three lightweight fights have taken place there.

Next up was a six-rounder between a tall South Korean named Sung Tak-Joo and young journeyman Joseph Von Minoza. At 23 years old, he already has 21 bouts with a 14-6-1 record. Sung, on the other hand, may have been undefeated, but with already three draws in his first 8 fights. He would add his latest here. Sung struggled to keep his distance due to Minoza’s evident body work, but oddly, it was Minoza who slowed down towards the last third of the fight. This scribe had the light welterweight fight 58-56 for Minoza, as one other judge, but the two scored it 57-57.

On the schedule, eight rounds is supposed to be slotted next but looking at the match-up, Mark Bernaldez, 12-0, 8 KOs coming in, versus Marvin Tampus, 27-18-2, 18 KOs, it shouldn’t have been. And it wasn’t. The budding prospect from Cebu quickly tried to overwhelm the Leyte puncher (67% KO wins), who didn’t offer up much offense except a headbutt which cut the eyebrow of the 22-year-old. Suddenly, the bout was stopped as people in the crowd gasped in anticipation until Tampus walked out of the ring to concede. Word is that Tampus only served as a last minute replacement for a Thai fighter.

In the last bout before the televised card, 18-year-old Mark Magsayo of Bohol looked to show his talent against 1-1 South Korean Hyuk Tak-Joo in the bantamweight class. It’s unclear whether he has any relations with the previous Tak-Joo boxer, but they did share the same corner. Magsayo flashed his attack with blow after blow after blow, but the Hyuk was tough enough for at least four rounds. Maybe another round would have knocked him down, maybe it won’t.

Side notes:

–       Huge crowd or not, Filipino fight fans are never dead. Positively or negatively, they can react to anything!

–       Nonito Donaire was on the television broadcast for ABS-CBN.

–       Marco Antonio Barrera on the house! His first time in Manila.

–       When MAB passed by this scribe, I not only stared in awe, I felt a tingle passing my body. Now that’s a legend I won’t mind being star struck!

–        Shout-outs to ALA Promotions Executive Secretary (to President/CEO) Lucille Ballori for accommodating and entertaining an aspiring writer. Congratulations on a successful event and night of boxing!

–       FJ Parlan, back, reporting for 3 More Rounds!

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