Boxing: Heno blasts Ganoza with Hamed-esque uppercut in 9th round
MANILA, Philippines - When the Jonas Sultan-Sonny Boy Jaro main event for Sunday’s card at Makati Cinema Square fell apart two days before fight night and turned the triple-header into a double feature, some boxing fans became disheartened.
Sultan had already arrived in Manila on Friday afternoon by the time word broke that the former WBC flyweight champion Jaro had withdrawn with an illness.
Stepping up for the Shape Up Boxing Promotions card was the 10-round Philippine flyweight title match between Edward Heno and Cris Ganoza, plus the 10-round junior featherweight bout between Philippine journeymen Pumicpic and Roli Gasca.
Both fights served adequately to fill the void and salvage the show.
In the main event, Edward “Fighting” Heno scored a ninth round knockout of Cris Ganoza in a battle of unbeatens, landing a surprise leaping right uppercut ala Prince Naseem Hamed to end the bout at the 1:10 mark.
Filipino boxer Edward Heno (10-0, 4KO) with the Hamed-esque leaping right uppercut knockout of Cris Ganoza in a battle of unbeatens pic.twitter.com/o0YjmRlpY1— Ryan Songalia (@ryansongalia) March 19, 2017
Heno (10-0-4, 4 knockouts) had been in control for much of the bout with his quicker hands setting up southpaw combinations. Still, his listlessness at times sparked Anson Tiu Co to implore from the catwalk for Heno to stick to his boxing and set up the finish.
Tiu Co got his wish in the ninth as Heno put his punches together to land heavy blows. Ganoza (12-1, 6 KOs) hit the canvas on two occasions which looked like they could have been knockdowns before the coup de grâce was landed, leaving no doubt about whether that knockdown was legitimate.
“This time around Heno showed he had that finishing kick,” said Tiu Co.
The co-main event saw Pumicpic (19-8-2, 6 KOs) grit out a majority decision win over Roli Gasca (23-8-1, 7 KOs) of the ALA stable, winning by scores of 96-94 on two cards while the third was a draw at 95-95.
Gasca, a former OPBF junior featherweight titleholder who had been out of the ring for the past 15 months, showed crispness early on, stunning Pumicpic with an overhand right in the second. Pumicpic, who is coming off a tough challenge to Albert Pagara conqueror Cesar Juarez last October, made the adjustment of pounding Gasca’s body in the middle rounds, slowing Gasca down and enabling him to rally late to take the decision.
“I’m hoping he’ll get an offer to fight for a regional title, or at least something of the equivalence,” Tiu Co said of his fighter’s win.
On the undercard, Aiman Abu Bakar (4-0, 1 KO) scored his first ever knockout win, blasting out replacement foe Gebby Manago (1-6) with a single right hand in the second round. Abu Bakar, 24, is one of only two pro boxers currently active in Malaysia.
As for Sultan-Jaro, Tiu Co is still hoping to stage the fight, with the earliest available back-up date being set for April 29. – Rappler.com
Ryan Songalia is the sports editor of Rappler, a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA) and a contributor to The Ring magazine. He can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @RyanSongalia.