To kick off the PPV card for "Pinoy Pride 45: Quest for Greatness" we got a little bit of an unexpected gem, as the touted Lorenz Ladrada (6-0-1, 2) extended his unbeaten record with a decision win against the hard hitting Audie Dacua (4-2, 3).
On paper the bout looked competitive, but we ended up getting a genuine treat as Ladrada, the more skilled of the two men, got pushed by the hard hitting Dacua, who's southpaw straight left hands gave Ladrada absolute fits.
The first round seemed a clear one for Ladrada, who looked like a real prospect, but Dacua upped the pace in round 2 and dragged Ladrada into his fight, landing hard shots to the head and body. The aggression forced Ladrada to fight back and it was a genuinely fantastic back and forth round. Dacua kept up the pressure in rounds 3, taking some clean shots in return, but landing the heavier blows.
In round 4 Ladrada started very sharply but a series of huge left hands from Dacua had Ladrada in pain, blinking out of his left eye and looking like a man in trouble. He would be taken over to the ringside doctor, to look at the eye, but the bout went on, the doctor happy the fighter could see.
Dacua seemed to slow down after round 4, and Ladrada began to create more space, using the ring and his skills better to land shots of his own and avoid the power shots of Dacua, who looked dangerous but less intense as the bout wore on. The slowing down of Dacua made round life much easier for Ladrada and made Dacua look wilder than he had in the first 4 rounds.
In the final round Ladrada took his foot off the gas slightly, likely knowing he had done enough to claim the decision. This allowed Dacua to come at him, but he ate right hand counters when he did as Ladrada's more rounded boxing took him to a comfortable decision win.
At the end of 8 rounds the judges all turned in scores of 79-73 of Ladrada. We felt it was a touch closer, but the right man won, extending his unbeaten record, and really being given a good test here. As for Dacua the loss showed his flaws, but also showed he did have a lot of positives for a trainer to work with, and there is potential there for him to go on to do things in the coming years, and he is fan friendly enough to put on these sorts of bouts over the coming years.
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