Story and photos by Chito Yu Katangkatang
The Filipinos emerged victorious against their Mexican foes in the MAG Pacman Boxing Promotions inaugural boxing event “First Blood” held at the grand ballroom of the posh Solaire Resort Hotel and Casino in Pasay City, Manila. Battle-tested veteran Michael “Hammer Fist” Farenas made a short work on Mexican warrior Jesus Rios winning via a second round knockout. A wild left hook caught Rios’ chin making him kneel on the canvass for the first time in the second round. Rios beat the eight count and pushed for more brawl but another huge left caught him sending the Mexican all fours on the canvass for good. Farenas’ record improves to W37 L4 D4 KO29.
In the co-featured bout, Dodie Boy Peñalosa Jr. remained undefeated after surviving a technical decision victory over Alem Robles of Los Mochis Mexico. Peñalosa suffered a huge cut on his eyebrow thus prompting the ringside physicians to stop the fight in the eighth round and resorting to the scorecards. All judges had it unanimously for the Filipino who improved his resume to W12 L0 D0 KO11.
Peñalosa was in his usual aggressive style viciously attacking Robles to the head and body but his carelessness cost him to the receiving end of several power shots from Robles. Both warriors engaged in a relentless brawl until several clash of heads caused greater damage to the Filipino protégé.
In the third featured bout, Richard Pumicpic improved his record to W14 L5 D2 KO4 through a unanimous decision win over a very game Luis Lugo of Mexico, in a very brutal battle. The two warriors let their guards down and engaged in a toe to toe brawl round by round. Each fighter had their moments staggering each other but in the end, the Filipino pug from Zamboanga del Norte had the better showing thus getting the judges nod.
“First Blood” was the maiden venture for MAG Pacman Boxing Promotions which is a partnership promotional outfit of fighter of the decade Manny Pacquiao, businessman Anson Tiu-Co and boxing icon Gerry Peñalosa. After the fight, Tiu-Co and Peñalosa expressed their joy and gratitude for the success of the event. “We formed this partnership and pooled in our resources in order to help produce more world class Filipino boxers. Manny’s influence in the sport, Anson’s business prowess and connections plus my promotional experience and friends in boxing will pursue this dream into fruition”, Peñalosa remarked.
Gerry told fightnews that a title fight with Mickey Garcia might still be difficult to arrange as of now but he wants Farenas to face his former conqueror Juan Manuel Lopez. “First thing on Monday, I will call Lopez’s manager and see if we can afford his price. If we agree to a deal, then we will surely make the fight happen here in Manila probably late in February. I want that fight for Mike. It will be good for his career and will be a nice payback time for Lopez.”
Japanese sportsman Kyosuke Washio who acts as business manager for Farenas and Dodie Boy Jr. was equally elated over the victory of his boxers. “I am so happy for the wins of Mike and Dodie. Dodie needs to be more careful. He needs to improve his defense. But he is very young and can still learn a lot. Mike has matured as a boxer. He almost beat Gamboa. I think he can any elite fighter out there”, Washio told this scribe.
Various sports and movie celebrities as well as executives of Solaire Resort Hotel and Casino attended the event. Also present as commentators were Chino Trinidad, Quinito Henson, and Ring Magazine’s Ryan Songalia.