BY: JAKE S. TERRAGO
The championship bouts in boxing (secondary) for the Palarong Panlalawigan 2023 showed spectators and coaches both the beauty and brutality of the sport as leather was traded with either technique or bad intentions last December 28, 2023, from 2:00 to 4:00 in the afternoon, at the Catanduanes Buffalo Fitness Gym.
A total of 6 bouts, in 6 different weight divisions were witnessed by Catandunganon fight fans, supporters, coaches and chaperons.
The first bout of the afternoon (in the Flyweight Division) raised the energy in the gym as the contender from Virac, Bishounen S. Subion went in guns blazing, forcing the fighter from Pandan, Mark Anthony Trinidad on the defensive. The barrage of punches from Virac finally found their marks though as the accumulation of shots forced the warrior from Pandan to take a knee. This forced Pandan (who was in the blue corner) to use movement in the second round to disrupt the rhythm of Virac (who was in the red corner). Virac, was effective in cutting off the ring however, as overhands and hooks found their mark. Blue answers with a jab, straight and an overhand of his own. This, however was not enough to secure him the victory as the third round saw him go on mostly the defensive once more as Subion punished Trinidad with hard body shots. In the end, the relentless pressure gave the fighter from Virac the W.
Bout two, was another face-off between Pandan and Virac in the Bantamweight Division. This time, in the red corner Lander Q. Santos represented the capital town, while on the opposite corner, Leonard Idanan represented Pandan. The blue corner decided to show why boxing is called “The Sweet Science” as he responded to red’s attack with beautiful counter punches. Hooks and uppercuts punished Santos every time he tried to close the distance. What seemed like a slip took place in the middle of an exchange, with some spectators and coaches ruling it as a slip. The end of round one saw Santos visibly tired. Blue opens up round two with a jab, straight. Red answers with jabs of his own, which were blocked, parried or slipped by blue. The round ends with more beautiful counters from blue. Round three saw the fighter from the red corner land head and body shots. But the fighter from Pandan adjusts and continues using his defense and counters. In the end, these were enough to secure a victory for Pandan.
Bout three, in the Pinweight Division was a battle between San Andres (in the red corner) and Virac (in the blue corner). Virac wasted no time in pummeling the fighter from San Andres on the ropes in the opening seconds. The two take the battle in the middle of the ring where San Andres answers with a flurry of his own. The blue corner was not fazed however as he answers with powerful body shots and overhand rights. The bout ends with a sneaky counter right hook from San Andres. In the second round, Virac did not give his opponent time to catch his breath as he came out the aggressor once more. This forced the referee to give the fighter from San Andres a standing eight count which he survives. Smelling blood, Virac goes for the kill which forces the referee to give yet another standing eight count to the red corner. The fighters make it to round three which was more or less a rewind of the first two rounds. Due to this, San Andres’ corner decides to spare their fighter from more punishment and calls for the referee to stop the bout in the first seconds of round three.
Bout four, a Light Flyweight showdown between Paul Nimrod Seguiro of Pandan and Yurrico S. Subion from Virac, was finished in two rounds as the former’s corner calls off the match after the fighter from Pandan receives punishing body shots in round one and the early stages of round two.
A flyweight bout with the fighter from San Andres, John Vincent Caldea at the red corner and the fighter from Pandan, Mark Calven Rosaldes, standing at the blue corner, followed. Round one saw Caldea throw a flurry of punches on the ropes against Pandan. The writer overhears that this was part of the gameplan to “pressure” their opponent. The round ends with a hook that wobbles the player from Pandan. In round two, after the punishing body shots he received in round one, Pandan plays defense and looks to land counters from a safe distance. Pandan however cuts off the ring and delivers a sequel of his performance in round one. Pandan fires back, but the jabs from San Andres keep him at bay. San Andres also uses his superior movement which allows him to evade the flurries from Rosaldes. In round three, a powerful overhand right from Caldea sends his opponent from Pandan to the ropes, followed by a right hook and body shots. In the end, all of the judges saw San Andres as the victor.
The final bout, in the Bantamweight Division, was a battle of speedsters, as Jeffrey Taopo Jr. from Pandan and Jairos Dave Timbal from Bato, exchanged leather at lightning speed in the center of the ring. As the fight progressed however, it became more and more obvious that the fighter from Pandan was landing the more telling and effective blows. Pandan decides to adjust and settles on using movement and counters against his opponent. This proves effective as Bato eats a left counter uppercut on his way in. Pandan tries to land his own shots, but Pandan’s movement makes the task difficult. This impressive performance which drew positive reactions from the crowd was replaced with disbelief as the dominant fighter from Pandan succumbs to fatigue, giving Bato the W.
After two hours of spectacular amateur bouts, the coaches and players were given their recognitions during the closing program. During the said program, the names of the athletes and coaches who will represent the island were also announced.
In the end, win or lose, both players and coaches were proud of their performances and vowed to become better warriors and guides respectively in the years to come. VIA BICOL PERYODIKO