For this week's fact piece we've decided take a look at the often forgotten Michael Domingo (42-18-3, 23), a talented, highly capable Filipino who's record really isn't an accurate reflection of his talent and ability. Like many Filipino fighters he was given tough fights early on, had to travel for bouts and fought on short notice, resulting in a lot of early losses. Despite that he carved out a very solid career that saw him coming within touching distance of a world title fight before his career came to an end.
Dubbed "Bruce Lee" the skilled Domingo fought between 1999 and 2012 shared the ring with a number of notable names. Among those were the likes of Jimrex Jaca, Sod Looknongyangtoy, Somsak Sithchatchawal, Poonsawat Kratingdaenggym, Rolly Lunas, Miguel Roman, Jose Navarro and Vusi Malinga.
Although not the biggest name in Filipino boxing he will go down as one of the country's most over-looked fighters and a man who deserves a lot more attention and time. With that in mind lets take a look at some mid-week facts around Domingo!
1-During his in ring career Domingo was a well travelled fighter. He not only fought in the Philippines but also Thailand, Japan, South Korea, Indonesia, France, the USA and South Africa. His form on the road was rather startling and mixed. In Thailand he went win-less, going 0-5, in Japan he was was also win-less, going 0-5-1, whilst in France and South Africa he went 0-1. Yet he was unbeaten in South Korea, 2-0, Indonesia 3-0, and the US, 1-0
2-Domingo fought on his 24th birthday! Not only did he fight on his birthday, on August 23rd 2003, but he also took a win, scoring a 3rd round KO win over the previously unbeaten Jake Verano.
3-Unlike most fighters who move up through the weights Domingo actually moved down the weights, quite significantly in fact. His debut was at Lightweight, and just 4 months later he had dropped 18lbs and was fighting at Bantamweight, which was arguably the weight he was best suited at. Sadly though the talented Filipino struggled to get regular Bantamweight fights and would regularly fight at Super Bantamweight in his prime, including his career defining upset win over Miguel Roman in 2007.
4-Following his retirement from in ring competition Domingo went on to become a trainer at the ALA Gym. Among the fighters he was responsible for included Merlito Sabillo and Jimmy Paypa.
5-The Domingo name lives on in the sport with Michael's nephew Esneth Domingo being a very promising youngster himself.
Extra Fact - In 2008 Domingo had a bout with world ranked fighter Nestor Rocha called off after having a test showing he had Hepatitis B. He would be cleared to fight again just a few months later when he was tested in the Philippines. The result of Domingo being pulled from that bout saw Rocha take a win over journeyman Oscar Andrade before getting a WBC world title fight with Hozumi Hasegawa in 2009.
One of the things about upsets is that they can sometimes upset the commentary teams, and studio scores, who seem confounded at the way they have scored the bout. Today we look at one such bout, which saw the TV judges score the bout very much one way, whilst the judges themselves failed to agree with the commentators. In fact the judges had it shut out the other way!
August 11th 2007
Arco Arena, Sacramento, California, USA
Michael Domingo (30-16-3, 14) Vs Miguel Roman (22-0, 16)
Filipino fighter Michael Domingo had fought 39 times before making his US debut in 2007, at the age of 27. By this point Domingo was a tried and tested regional level journeyman who was known to be able to pick up wins, but had lost 16 of his previous 39 bouts and had been beaten in 2 of his previous 3 bouts. Outside of his native Philippines he had only ever picked up wins in South Korea and Indonesia, failing to win a single bout in Japan and Thailand, where he had frequently visited.
In the opposite corner to the Filipino veteran was unbeaten Mexican fighter Miguel Roman, a 21 year old prospect who was looking to score his 4th win of 2007 and his 23rd successive win. Although he was a talented Mexican he had started to make a name for himself in the US, where he had already picked up 4 wins. In the eyes of many he looked like he was going to be a future world champion and that Domingo, who had already been stopped 7 times, was just going to be the next speed bump on Roman's road to the top.
What was supposed to be another quick win for Roman ended up not going the way he had expected.
From the opening round Roman came forward whilst Domingo used his experience to block much of Roman's shots whilst looking to box behind his jab. The aggression was from Roman, but it was, for the most part, ineffective with Domingo regularly returning fire when Roman did have success. Despite the nature of the round the commentators we have here gave the round to Roman, favouring his aggression.
Round 2 saw the tempo of the bout pick up, with both men going to war more frequently. Roman was again the more aggressive man in their but was often countered, forced to chase, and had to cope with the smart work of Domingo, who create space, caught Roman coming in and then repeated things. Roman certainly seemed to be landing the harder single shots, but seemed to be struggling to land with consistency. It was a lot of effort with little success for the talented Mexican.
Roman began to change things in round 3, using his jab more early on and tried to box more. It was a bad idea and became an easier round for Domingo, who was the much more talented boxer. Although Roman boxed more he did, still, come forward at times, though he was looking frustrated and like he was getting annoyed by the Filipino who kept fighting back, unlike many of Roman's opponents. Although Roman had boxed early in the round both men went to the bell unloading in a great back and forth sequence to close out the round.
The TV analyst scoring the bout for Mexican TV had Roman leading 29-28 at the end of round 3, giving Domingo round 3 alone. The seemed to be scoring to the more aggressive man, despite the lack of substance at times. Roman certainly wasn't getting battered, but he was being made to look clumsy at times, and was struggling to land clean with consistency. That proved to be the case again in round 4, with Roman coming forward, and eating shots on the way in, regularly hitting air, and really struggling to make his pressure count. He landed some great shots, but they were few and far between with the youngster again struggling to make an impact on a man he was expected to stream roll.
In round 5 Roman's footwork was slowing, he was essentially walking forward. Although he was active up close he was still struggling to land clean and effective shots. What he landed looked powerful, but there was no consistency and his combinations were rarely landing with success, often only a single punch or two from any string of shots. Domingo was also starting to falter at times, but was much more consistent, making Roman miss and letting his own shots go, knocking out Roman's gumshield late on.
Going into the final round the commentators had Roman in a clear lead, as we ended up getting the round of the fight. The pace picked up again as both men let their hands go. It seemed a better round, at least at times, for Roman who managed to get Domingo to fight his fight, but Domingo still managed to create space, essentially old man Roman, and kill the momentum that Roman was building before the Mexican could come close to hurting him. Of all the rounds this seemed to be the one that Roman put his foot on the gas for, as if he realised he was in need of a big push to get over the line.
With commentary for Mexican TV scoring the bout clearly in favour scoring the bout 59-55 for Roman one would assume it was an easy win for Roman but the judges went the opposite way, scoring it a shut out for Domingo. A decision that drew a "WOW" from the Mexican commentary team.
Interestingly the entire show, despite being in the US, was a Philippines Vs Mexico card, with this bout having 3 American judges. The only Filipino on the show to lose was Rey Bautista, who was blown out in a round by Daniel Ponce De Leon.
Sadly for Domingo this win wasn't turned into a world title fight, and instead he went 11-2 before retiring after a 2012 win over Mudde Robinson Ntambi. As for Roman he's still active and became one of the sports must watch fighters, despite losing a dozen subsequent bouts after this one. Roman has gone on to face a genuine who's who with bouts against Jorge Solis, Miguel Beltran Jr, Jonathan Victor Barros, Javier Fortuna, Antonio DeMarco, Juan Carlos Salgado, Daniel Ponce De Leon, Takashi Miura, Orlando Salido, Miguel Berchelt and Tomas Rojas. For hardcore fans of the sport Roman has become a must watch fighter, with his toughness and will to win.
Sadly despite a huge win here Domingo is a bit of a forgotten name, but this is, without a doubt, his career defining result.
Thinking Out East
With this site being pretty successful so far we've decided to open up about our own views and start what could be considered effectively an editorial style opinion column dubbed "Thinking Out East" (T.O.E).