Filipino boxer Aston Palicte wins big in Macau

Ryan Songalia
Filipino boxer Aston Palicte wins big in Macau
Bago City's Aston Palicte, once written off as a talented underachiever, makes a big splash in his international debut, knocking out Mexican journeyman Ismael Garnica

MANILA, Philippines – Filipino boxer Aston Palicte made good in his international debut, knocking out Mexico’s Ismael Garnica in seven rounds at the Venetian Resort in Macau on Saturday, March 7.

The 24-year-old Palicte (17-1, 15 knockouts) of Bago City, Negros Occidental, Philippines battered Garnica (13-6-1, 5 KOs) throughout the fight, bloodying his nose before referee Eddie Claudio stepped in at the 2:19 mark of their junior bantamweight fight. 

Palicte trains out of the MP Gym in Davao City under Manny Pacquiao’s assistant Nonoy Neri and is promoted by MP Promotions and Top Rank Promotions.  

Aston Palicte celebrates with manager Jason Soong and trainer Nonoy Neri. Photo from Team Palicte

After the fight, Palicte dedicated his performance to Pacquiao, saying “We’re rooting for his victory, praying for his safety versus Floyd Mayweather.” 

Jason Soong, who manages Palicte, says he would’ve liked to see the rangy, 5-foot-7 fighter “use his length more” but was pleased overall with the outcome. 

“Hard work and discipline really pays off,” said Soong. 

The win was Palicte’s seventh straight – all by knockout – since his lone defeat in 2012, when he was stopped in four rounds by Romnick Magos.

“His loss is what got him to this point, if that makes any sense,” said Soong. “Everyone thought he was one of the most skillful and tall boxers for his weight. People wanted to see him give his 150% effort and now he has.”

Other Filipino boxers weren’t so lucky.

Raymond Sermona (17-5-5, 8 KOs) of Himamaylan City, Negros Occidental was knocked out at 1:46 of the first round by Jose Felix Jr (29-1-1, 24 KOs) of Los Mochis, Mexico. A right hand to the ear dropped Sermona, spinning him around before he went to the canvas.

Felix is sent to a neutral corner after dropping Sermona in the opening round. Photo by Chris Farina - Top Rank

Michael Enriquez (not the broadcaster) of Balingasag, Misamis Oriental nearly pulled off the upset of a career, going to the wire in a close, but unanimous decision loss to Hong Kong favorite Rex Tso. The scores were 95-94 on two cards and 96-93 on the third.

Michael Enriquez (R) lands a left on Rex Tso (L). Photo by Chris Farina - Top Rank

Enriquez drew Tso into a close-quartered battle and had the southpaw hurt on several occasions, but a fourth round knockdown and Tso’s superior body punching ultimately served as the difference.

Enriquez drops to 10-3-1 (6 KOs) while Tso remains unbeaten at 16-0 (9 KOs). 

In the main event, Thailand’s Amnat Ruenroeng (15-0, 5 KOs) retained his IBF flyweight title with a unanimous decision over two-time Olympic gold medalist Zou Shiming, who is trained by Pacquiao’s trainer Freddie Roach.

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