Nothing on Abcede's record suggest this would be anything more than a routine win for Pigmy, who was fighting over 12 rounds to essentially pick up the WBO Oriental title in what was supposed to be a foregone conclusion. Of course however boxing doesn't work on foregone conclusions, it doesn't work one who is favoured, instead it works on what happens in the ring and Abcede had come to the ring to prove a point.
From the opening seconds it was clear the Filipino 20 year old hadn't traveled to Thailand to make up the numbers, instead he had traveled to replicate the success of countryman Jestoni Autida, who shocked Ratchasak KKP just a few days ago. Rather than fighting like a journeyman Abcede fought like a confident young fighter, letting his jab go, moving in and out and circling his much more experienced foe. Whilst he did show plenty of nerves it was clear that there was some genuine self belief here.
As the fight went on Pigmy seemingly became frustrated by being unable to pin down his taller and faster foe who continued to boxing brilliantly behind his jab at range. The frustration on the veteran began to show as he started to miss more and more frequently, often with huge looking shots, and was being made to pay for his misses. As he continued to miss Abcede grew more and more confident, landing some brilliant counter shots and letting his hands go with more regularity.
In the later rounds Pigmy was beginning to look tired and was chasing Abcede around the ring, running straight into the Filipino's punches in the process. As he did that he began to take more and more steam out of his own engine.
In round 11 Abcede finally finished finished off Pigmy with a brutal right hook that send the Thai flat on his back. Pigmy tried to recover to his feet but fell into the ropes forcing the stoppage.
Whilst the win certainly nets Abcede the WBO Oriental title, and his 7th straight win after a 3-3 start, it does leave the WBO in a strange position and will almost certainly force them to order a different mandatory for Tanaka. It's unlikely that that will be Abcede, despite his excellent win here, though it could well leave Tanaka in the position to face a voluntary defense, ahead of a possible unification bout with Katsunari Takayama in December.
For Pigmy, who entered the bout #1 ranked by the WBO, this is almost certainly the end of the line. It was a "cherry pick" gone wrong and an upset of the year contender. It also proves that a fighter really cannot look past their upcoming fight. Thankfully though it seems the bout may have revealed a genuine diamond in the rough in the form of Abcede who looks like the type of fighter who could go a long way, if he has a good team behind him.
(Video courtesy of tko.in.th)