Late last night fans had the chance to see heavy handed Filipino fighter Aston Palicte (20-2, 17) in action, though unfortunately for the promising Filipino he was on the wrong end of a decision as he battled the gutsy, but out matched, Junior Granados (15-4-1, 8).
In the early stages Palicte looked a class above Granados and seemed to easily win the first two rounds, but using his size, speed, power and combinations to keep the aggressively minded Granados at bay. The good start for the Filipino was reeled back by Granados in rounds 4 and 5, as the Fil;ipino appeared to be flagging slightly under the pressure of the local favourite.
Just as the bout seemed to be swinging in favour of the local fighter Palicte got back to doing what he was doing in the opening rounds, and keeping the Mexican at range with his powerful straight shots.
Come the final round it seemed that Palicte, who didn't have a mark on his face, was the comfortable winner over the badly bruised Mexican. He should however have known better and when the cards were read out there was little surprise, but a lot of disappointment, in the judges who somehow scored the bout for the Mexican, via split decision with scores of 97-93 and 97-94, whilst the dissenting judge had Palicte winning 97-94
It's worth noting that Granados was himself on the bad end of some officiating last year, when he was very controversially beaten by Jamie Conlan in Dublin. This is his second win since that bout, but it's a win that those watching knew he didn't deserve. In fact had the bout been anywhere other than his local region of Yucatán there is a very good chance he would have been the loser.
For Palicte this loss is a genuine setback, but it's fair to assume that it will act as a learning experience and may well see him look for the finish more intently than he did here. Sadly he's become just another Filipino on the wrong end of a decision in Mexico and it wouldn't be a surprise to see Filipino fighters think twice before fighting in the country if the decisions continue to go against them like they did here.
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