MANILA, Philippines – Dave Apolinario dropped Gideon Buthelezi with a wicked left straight and clinched the vacant International Boxing Organization (IBO) flyweight crown via first round knockout on Saturday, July 30, at the International Convention Center in East London, South Africa.
The dazed South African remained on a knee for the full count, extending Apolinario’s unbeaten run to 17 with 12 knockouts.
Apolinario’s thrilling triumph also ended the Filipino boxers’ string of losses in the international arena, which saw Mark Magsayo, Nonito Donaire, Jerwin Ancajas, and Rene Mark Cuarto all losing their world championships this year.
It would have been an outright knockout for Apolinario, but the Filipino’s follow-up right hook missed as Buthelezi was already on the way down.
Buthelezi, a three-division IBO champion, fell to 23-6 with 5 knockouts, and at 36 years old may be ripe for retirement.
Having proven his mettle on his first foreign foray, Apolinario’s chances of getting a major world title crack further improved as he is already ranked No. 1 by the International Boxing Federation.
Only 23 years old, Apolinario is also ranked No. 6 by the World Boxing Association and No. 15 by the World Boxing Organization.
Apolinario, who hails from Sarangani Province, was accompanied by Sanman Promotions head JC Manangquil, trainer Ronerex Dalut, and fellow boxer Ben Mananquil, who got stopped by Phumela Cafu in the fifth round of their junior bantamweight tussle. – Rappler.com