In a clear step up today Filipino youngster Dave Apolinario (10-0, 6) took on Romshane Sarguilla (7-2-2, 4) in a bout televised on ESPN5.
In the opening round Apolinario looked razor sharp, using his southpaw stance brilliantly and landing numerous right hooks as well as some crisp straight left hands. Sarguilla had some moments but they were few and far between with all the really eye catching shots coming from the unbeaten man. Apolinario would continue to land the better shots through round 2 and 3, but Sarguilla, to his credit, took the shots well and seemed to begin biding his time a little more, hoping for the quicker Apolinario to slow down.
Early in the 4th round, not long after Apolinario landed one of his best shots of the fight, Sarguilla tried to slow Apolinario down with a pretty clear low blow, and was given a clear telling off. The unbeaten fighter was in pain but would get his own back landing one low himself not long after, after if to suggest he can play dirty too if that was the fight that Sarguilla wanted. Sadly for Sarguilla the low blow was about the only hurtful shot he landed in the round, whilst Apolinario went on to land some very eye catching combinations.
Saguilla looked to be out boxed, out sped and out fought, but was relying on his toughness. As the rounds went on however it became more and more of a test of how tough he was, as he could never really change the fight of have any sustained success. Despite being clearly beaten Sarguilla was continually pressing the fight, coming forward and trying to make a fight of it. In round 7 that did cost him however, as he was dropped whilst rushing forward. He claimed it was a slip but it did seem that a punch did at least help him down.
In the end the bout was a clear win on all 3 cards for Apolinario, who looked good and certainly got his biggest win so far. There will however be much stiffer tests to come in the future.
Gaballo, the WBA "interim" Bantamweight champion, will be up against Japan's Yuya Nakamura (9-2-1, 7), who continues to fight outside of the Japanese system with bouts in China, Thailand and the Philippines. Nakamura really caught our attention back in December, when he had an unlucky 6 round draw with Yongu Yu, in what was a thoroughly entertaining contest.
Duno on the other hand will be up against Indian foe Kuldeep Dhanda (7-1, 1), who will be fighting outside of India foe the first time. Not only will this be Dhanda's international debut, but also his first bout since December 2017!
Whilst we love the main event between Apolinario and Vicells, we can't help but feel Gaballo and Duno have been matched relatively easily, a pattern we are seeing a little too often with these ESPN5 shows.
Earlier today Filipino promotional outfit Sanman Promotions revealed that their first show of 2019 will be doubleheader, to be held on February 9th in the Philippines and shown on ESPN5.
One of the two main event bouts will see WBA "interim" Bantamweight champion Reymart Gaballo (20-0, 17) whilst the other will feature Lightweight hopeful Romero Duno (18-1, 14). At the moment neither man has had their opponent for the bout's announced but they will be international opponents and will hopefully beat the typical opponent we've seen served up on the main bouts of the ESPN5 cards, such as Gaballo's last opponent Julias Kisarawe, who was just terrible.
The one bout that has been put together will see Dave Apolinario (9-0, 6) battle against Mark Vicelles (9-0-1, 5) for the WBO Asia Pacific Youth Flyweight title, in what is an excellent step up for both men.
We saw a number of Sanman shows on ESPN5 last year and it really did help fans keep up with Filipino hopefuls, and seems to be something that is continuing into the new year, as the channel once again looks to back Filipino boxing, and developing the sport. Sanman Boxing CEO Jim Claude Manangquil is quoted by ESPN.Com as saying:
"I couldn't have done this without the support of ESPN5. They are doing a very noble mission helping Filipino boxers get the exposure they deserve. (The year) 2018 was such a great year for Sanman, will ensure 2019 will even be a more explosive year for us and for Philippine Boxing. This Gaballo and Duno double treat is our way of starting the new boxing year with a bang. We look forward to more world titles for Fiipino boxers and more big events for Sanman,"
With that in mind it seems obvious that there is big plans for ESPN5 to stay involved in the sport, something really needed to try and recapture the Filipino audience, and give fighters a chance to build their names.
One of the most exciting teenage prospects in world boxing right now is 19 year old Filipino Dave Apolinario (9-0, 6), the younger brother for former world title challenger John Mark Apolinario. Today the youngster was in domestic action, as he took on Joan Imperial (14-8-6, 9) in what turned out to be little more than a cameo appearance for the teenager.
From the opening bell Apolinario looked razor sharp as he snapped out his jab and looked to control the distance. Imperial tried to push Apolinario backwards but was short lived with the unbeaten youngster ripping the body of Imperial with a brutal combination that left the experienced man in a heap on the canvas for the 10 count.
A straight left hand to the midsection was the shot that really hurt Imperial, forcing him on to the ropes, before the combination from Apolinario dropped his man .
The result is Apolinario's 5th win of 2018, and his shortest career bout, with an official time of 1 minute and 7 seconds. As for Imperial the loss was his 7th stoppage loss, and the quickest defeat of his career so far.
This past Saturday at the Robinson’s Mall Atrium in General Santos City fight fans had the chance to seea SANMAN card, sadly however the card was relatively short lived with the 11 bout show lasting just 31 rounds. Despite it's short length it was an explosive card with 8 T/KO's and a string of notable names.
On the card were two notable debutants, and it took neither of them long to get their first wins. One of those was Dave Apolinario (1-0, 1), who needed just a round to blast out Prince Canonero (0-4), who has now been stopped in 3 rounds. The other debutant was Mark Antonio (1-0, 1), who was taken in to the second round by Rusty Padua (0-1).
As well as the debutants there was another notable novice on the show, that was Malaysian Muhamad Farkhan (4-0, 4), who made light work of former OPBF title challenger Marlon Alta (12-8, 9). Alta, fighting at a career highest weight of 190lbs, had been stopped in 4 of his previous and has now suffered 6 straight losses and is more than 5 years removed from a win.
It only took the exciting Romero Duno (14-1, 13) a couple of rounds to see off Jason Tinampay (8-5-1, 7). Duno, who stopped Christian Gonzalez in his US debut earlier this year, had Tinampay down 4 times in round 2 before the referee saved the over-matched man from Bohol. Sadly for Tinampay this was a 4th loss in 6, all by stoppage, and he's now 0-3-1 in his last 4.
The longest bout of the show went in to the 8th round Aston Palicte (23-2, 19) who stopped former world title challenger John Mark Apolinario (18-9-3, 4). The heavy handed Palicte, who was last seen in December taking a split decision over Oscar Cantu, dropped Apolinario twice in the 8th round to force the stoppage, the third of Apolinario's career. With a third straligh loss Apolinario is a million miles away from the man who fought for the WBA Bantamweight title back in 2013, and it now looks like he has become little more than a name for fighters coming up through the ranks.
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