Boxing: Servania gains mental edge over Munoz at weigh-in

Ryan Songalia
Genesis Servania won the early mental battle against former world champion Alexander Munoz before Saturday night's fight at Solaire Resort

MANILA, Philippines – Boxing is a young man’s sport, and when that fire stoked by testosterone and ambition is no longer burning and the reality that there are 40 or so more years left on this earth to survive sets in, the fire never comes back.

When Alexander Munoz turned away abruptly from his staredown with Genesis Servania at Friday’s weigh-in at Robinson’s Galleria in Ortigas, Manila, it was as if Munoz had come to the realization that 35-year-olds have no business being in the ring with hungry 22-year-old fighters.

Boxing tradition dictates that neither fighter break their stare until being ordered to by event organizers, even though the threat for pre-fight violence is generally low.

“Takot sila,” (He’s scared) said Servania (23-0, 9 knockouts), whose fight with Munoz headlines the Pinoy Pride XXIV event at Solaire Resort in Pasay City, Philippines on Saturday night.

Both fighters made weight, with Munoz checking in at 122 pounds and Servania at 121. 

READY TO FIGHT. Genesis Servania (left) and Alexander Munoz (right) pose at Thursday's press conference. Photo by Josh Albelda/Rappler

Munoz, a two-time WBA junior bantamweight titleholder from Caracas, Venezuela, was one of the sport’s most accomplished little men during the first decade of the  millennium’s first decade, but has been been largely inactive since losing a decision to Koki Kameda in Japan in 2010. 

Munoz sat out for 23 months before returning in 2012 against a local no-hoper in his hometown, then suffered his first career stoppage loss last May to Leo Santa Cruz. Munoz hasn’t fought since then.

“I own a rental car business now, but this was a good opportunity to come back,” said Munoz (36-5, 28 KOs), who is dedicating the fight to fellow world champion and countryman Antonio Cermeno, who was kidnapped and murdered this week.

“It’s going to be a good fight, but I’m going to win.”

Servania of Bacolod City, Philippines has been far more active, having fought four times in 2003 against three former world title challengers, and is fresh off a month-long tour of California/Mexico, where he sparred with British WBA junior featherweight titleholder Scott Quigg in Los Angeles before training in Tijuana, Mexico.

“My feeling is good. I trained hard so I’ll do my best for fight tomorrow,” said Servania. “Munoz is a good fighter, he’s a pressure fighter.”

In the co-featured bout, Albert Pagara (18-0, 12 KOs) of Maasin City, Southern Leyte, Philippines and Issack Junior (22-4-2, 8KOs) of Indonesia both weighed 122 pounds for their fight.

Arthur Villanueva (24-0, 14KOs) of Bago City, Negros Occidental, Philippines and Fernando Aguilar (9-6, 1KO) of Mexico both weighed an identical 116 pounds for their 10-round bout. –

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 An archive of his work can be found at Follow him on Twitter: @RyanSongalia.

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