‘Pretty’ Champ

November 19, 2018

THE 3rd World Boxing Council (WBC) Women’s  Convention  and Asian Summit   held in Manila from   Nov. 16-19 will be remembered for its  huge success in terms of achievements and participation.

The four-day convention ,which attracted  close to 500 participants from 17 countries all over the world,  also produced a new Filipino  boxing champion --   Jonathan Almacen.

Almacen overcame an ugly cut over his right eye due to a head clash in the first round to beat Xiang Li of China by unanimous decision to capture the vacant  WBC Continental Asia  silver light flyweight title  before  a  big crowd at the Philippine  International Convention Center (PICC) late Sunday night.

Almacen, nicknamed  “Pretty Boy”,  sustained a head-clash inflicted cut but went on  to  pummel  Li  in  their eight-round  title fight for the  vacant crown  headlining the six-fight card  dubbed  as “The Big Challenge” held at the PICC Forum 1 Hall.

The 19-year-old pride of Muntinlupa  City  won the nod of all three judges  -- 78-73, 77-74, 77-74  -- to win the fight and improve  his record to 5-2-2 with one knockout.

“Maraming maraming salamat sa Panginoon sa ibinigay nyong regalo  sa akin ngayon gabi,” said Almacen in his Facebook post right after the title fight.

Before the convincing win over Li, the Filipino fighter absorbed a loss  to ArAr Andales  for the LUZPROBA minimumweight crown only last  Sept. 2.

Li dropped to 5-2-1, with 2 KOs. In the main event, Azizbek Abdugofurov  of  Uzbekistan also won  by unanimous  decision over Wuzhati Nuerlang of China to retained the WBC silver world super middleweight championship.

Abdugofurov,  known  as AAA A for his  initials, dominated the first half of the 12-round match before staving off Nuelang’s late push  to score  117-111,118-112,  and 118-112  decision.

The Uzbek champion, who softened up the Chinese  with body shots and  upper cuts, raised his record to 11-0 with four  knockouts, while dropping Nuerlang  to  11-2, including  nine KOs, in their title fight  reportedly watched live by 9.4 million viewers in China.

Abdugofurov  was  way ahead in  the  score cards, 79-73, 78-74, 78-74, when Nuerlang staged a daring fight back that saw the tiring Uzbek  pin to the  ropes in the  ninth round.

But the Uzbek wisely kept his poise with his good counter-punching skills to the delight of local and  foreign crowd.

In another exciting fight,  Phannaluk Kongsang of Thailand displayed tremendous skills in beating  Urvashi Singh of  India by split decision for the vacant WBC Asia  female bantamweight title.

The Thai fighter, who exploiting her reach  advantage to keep the Indian  at bay, improved   her record to 5-6-1, including two knocvkouts.

Singh suffered her first loss after three stoppages.

Muay Thai action  alsp provded  quality entertainment.

Rudsma Abubakar (11-3) trounced  Ruth  Gambican (10-2) in a three-rounder and   Danai Wasan (21-6)  outclassed Jason Vedana (19-4).

In the  boxing opener, Carlean Rivas (6-6-4)  and  Gretel de  Paz (5-4-1, 2 KO) fought to a majority draw  in the vacant WBC Asia  female super flyweight  division.

No less  than Games an Amusement Board   (GAB) Chairman Abraham   “Baham” Mitra   was   at  ringside  to watch  the  fights, which   served  as  one  of   the highlights of  the  WBC  Convention being  held   for  the   fourth time in the  country.