Pagcaliwangan shakes off rust, KOs Mexico's Villamar in 3
MANILA, Philippines - Marc Pagcaliwangan admits there was a lingering feeling of rust as he stepped into the ring for his first fight in two years.
Three rounds later the Filipino-Canadian junior featherweight had worked out some of the inactivity and walked away with a knockout win over Emmanuel Villamar on Saturday, March 18 (Sunday Manila time) at the Powerade Centre in Brampton, Ontario, Canada.
The time of stoppage was 2:49 of the third. Pagcaliwangan scored a knockdown in the first round before sending Villamar to the floor for a second time in the third round from a left hook.
"I felt a bit rusty but I got the job done," says Pagcaliwangan (10-0-1, 8 knockouts). "I didn't feel loose and I was so anxious and jumpy." Villamar drops to 8-2 (1 KO) with the loss. (READ: The Filipino-Canadian boxer who trained with Pacquiao and Donaire)
The fight brings to a close a 23-month period of inactivity during which Pagcaliwangan set up a new team to guide his career, signing with managers Bill Halkias and Germaine Gillies, plus signed with New York-based promotional company Star Boxing, and began training with Marvin Somodio out of the Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles, California.
Somodio wasn't able to be in Pagcaliwangan's corner on Saturday night, so Pagcaliwangan went with his local assistants Sean Fulgencio, Socrates Celestial and Glen Erjas for the fight.
Halkias says he isn't sure when Pagcaliwangan will return to the ring but says it could be "likely very soon" if a date arises in Canada, where the 26-year-old from the Toronto suburb of London, Ontario remains a solid ticket-seller. – 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @RyanSongalia.