Earlier today fans in the Philippines had the chance to catch an interesting looking card in Cebu City. The show, the latest in the ALA "Pinoy Pride" cards, was expected to see a number of young Filipino fighters face significant tests of their abilities. In some cases the local prospects were tested, whilst in other bouts the local hopefuls really had things all their own way.
One of the most testing bouts saw Filipino teenager Melchor Roda (3-1, 3) suffer a narrow loss to former Singaporean amateur star Muhamad Ridhwan (1-0). Ridhwan looked promising in the opening couple of rounds but was given a serious gut check in rounds 3 and 4 with Roda coming on very strong. Despite the loss for Roda he appears to have a lot more upside than the 28 year old Ridhwan who seems unlikely to become a fixture on the professional boxing scene.
Another youngster who got tested was Elmo Traya (11-1, 8) who was given a real gutcheck against former OPBF champion Romeo Jakosalem (16-12-1, 8), Jakosalem gave a solid performance and although he came up short he proved that he could still hold his own with younger, fresh fighters. For Traya this was a big win, but one that seemed to receive some boos from the crowd, who perhaps felt he didn't deserve the victory.
Talking about gut checks, real credit needs to go to 19 year old Jeo Santisima (9-2, 8) who was dropped in round 2 before fighting back and stopping the much more experienced Marco Demecillo (21-5-1, 16), who turned his back following a well placed body shot. The win for Santisima was a 7th successive stoppage victory and by far his best win to date. For the once touted Demecillo however, this looks to be the continuation of his downfall and was his 4th loss in 6 bouts, and his 5th loss in 8.
Another man who is seemingly seeing his career fade away is former IBF Minimumweight champion Florante Condes (27-10-1, 23), who came up short against the unbeaten Melvin Jerusalem (9-0, 7). The 22 year old Jerusalem "only" got a majority decision win but seemed a clear winner as he made Condes look wild, stupid and crude, in fact at one point Condes missed and threw himself on to the canvas in an embarrassing scene for all involved. This really should be the end for Condes, though if he can still earn money off his name we suspect we'll see him suffering more losses to upcoming fighters.
In a well matched bout, at least on paper, fans saw Kevin Jake Cataraja (3-0, 2) over-come Tony Rodriguez (3-2, 2). The very well regarded Cataraja was taken the distance for the first time in his young career but always looked too good for Rodrgiuez, who struggled to claim more than a round on the judges scorecards. The 8 round win for Cataraja will have done his development a world of good, but it's now time he was in there with someone trying to win.
When it comes to opponents not trying to win, the description seems apt for Nicaraguan Yesner Talavera (15-4-1, 4), who put up very little offense against Albert Pagara (26-0, 18). Pagara looked in control for 11 of the 12 rounds, with Talavera putting some offensive work forward in round 11, but following a knockdown by Pagara in round 7 the Nicaraguan did little other than survive. The win saw Pagara retain the WBO Inter-Continental Super Bantamweight title but the performance of Talavera will leave this bout as one to forget.
Pagara's bout was the main event however it's fair to say that Mark Magsayo (13-0, 10) put on the better performance, as he did everything but stop Eduardo Montoya (17-5-1, 13), in a bout for the WBO Youth Featherweight title. The talented Magsayo may have failed to score the stoppage but he's now gone 10 rounds and has proven that he can do the distance at a solid pace.
One other bout on this card saw Esneth Domingo (2-0, 2) blow away Vic Ejercito (0-2) in less than 150 seconds.
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