From 2003 to 2014 Filipino fight fans had a youngster to get really excited about. That was Rey "Boom Boom" Bautista (36-3, 25). The explosive Bautista never left fans disappointed with his effort and always got in the ring looking to have a fight. More often than not he was in exciting tear ups, and built a cult following, not just in the Philippines but globally, due to his aggressive and exciting mentality.
Sadly Bautista retired young, walking away from the sport at the age of 28. There was a feeling among those close to him that it was time to hang them up, that his style was going to get him hurt and he had gone as far as he was going to go. He was young, but didn't need to continue in the sport and take punishment. He listened to the senior voices around him and wisely walked away.
Despite walking away young, and never winning a world title, Bautista remains an interesting fighter and someone who fans from the time still remember fondly. He's still spoken about within Filipino fight circles, and is used as an example of what to avoid if you're a talented prospect.
Today we're bringing you 5 Midweek facts about Rey Bautista!
1-Bautista made his debut at the age of 16 and was Amazingly he was 20-0 (15) before his 20th birthday! A staggering record for someone so young. Not only had he been busy but he had also been getting placed on some big cards by this point. They included the under-card of Marco Antonio Barrera's first bout with Rocky Juarez, and a card that featured Manny Pacquiao against Hector Velazquez and Erik Morales against Zahir Raheem.
2-On august 11th 2007 Bautista got his only world title fight, when he took on the then WBO Super Bantamweight champion Daniel Ponce De Leon. The card featured 7 bouts in total, all with a Filipino involved. Sadly for Bautista he was the 1 in the 6-1 result for the Philippines, with all of his countrymen on the card winning their bouts, including a huge upset win for Michael Domingo against Mickey Roman.
3-Bautista's 2012 bout with Genaro Garcia Gutierrez was a case of mistaken identity! Bautista's team assumed they were getting multi-time world title challenger Genaro Garica, also known as "Poblanito", who had faced a who's who of the sport. Instead they ended up with a very similarly named fighter, who was known as "Panterita". Sadly the Genaro Garcia they got was terrible, unprofessional, failed to make weight and was stopped in 2 rounds. In fact he was stopped in all 18 of his career losses. There was even more doubt suggesting that it was an even worse fighter than "Panteria" Garcia, in what was a very messy situation for ALA and ABS-CBN, who televised the bout.
4-Bautista holds two TKO wins over Alejandro Barrera, the cousin of legendary Mexican Marco Antonio Barrera.
5-When Bautista retired from the sport he began training boxing at the Philippine Air Force but progressed quickly and later became the boxing coach of the Philippine Military Academy. In the army he has impressed and he was reportedly close to being made a corporal last time the Filipino reported on him, which was more than a year ago!
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).