Yesterday Filipino fans got a title studded card at the Taguig Sports Complex. The card, a relatively low profile one despite featuring numerous notable names, features a trio of intriguing title matches with two of those ending in genuine upsets.
The most notable of the bouts, at least for us, was the one title bout that went as expected.
That was a OPBF Flyweight title bout that saw talented Filipino veteran Ardin Diale (31-9-3, 15) record the first defense of his title as he over-came fellow Filipino Jonathan Francisco (8-5-1, 2) with a unanimous decision. On paper this was a bit of a mismatch in favour of the often under-rated champion and it proved to be a confidence build first defense for a man who is likely to face much stiffer tests if his reign is to continue.
Francisco, fighting in his first title bout, did well to survive the 12 rounds but was never likely to over-come the champion, who really is one of the sports genuine gatekeepers at Flyweight.
It was at Flyweight where we saw one of the shows notable upsets. This time it was at the GAB level where veteran Donny Mabao (22-24-3, 4) managed a shock decision win over Michael Enriquez (11-5-1, 7). Coming in to this one Mabao had gone 0-4-2 in his last 6, dating back more than 3 years, though managed to pull out a career saving performance to over-come Enriquez. Sadly for the loser this was his 3rd loss in 4 bouts, and it seems that his gutsy display against Rex Tso a year ago has essentially taken all he had.
Whilst Enriquez's loss was an upset it wasn't the biggest shock on the card. That was at 108lbs where Jonathan Refugio (15-4-4, 3) shocked former world title challenger Richard Claveras (14-2-2, 12) in a bout for the WBC International Light Flyweight title. On paper this looked like a confidence builder for Claveras, who has scored a pair of wins since his sole loss last April, however it turns out that Refugio, who was 3-4 in his previous 7, hadn't read the script. Instead of lying down for the big punching Claveras fans saw a determined Refugio take the fight to Claveras and earn a well deserved decision win.
After the bout it was noted that Claveras was struggling to make 108lbs and it seems likely that he will now move up in weight.
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