Pinoy Heno drops world boxing title bid
MANILA, Philippines – Filipino Edward Heno gave Mexican champion Elwin Soto a tough fight before yielding a close unanimous decision in their battle for the World Boxing Organization light flyweight belt on Thursday, October 24 (Friday, October 25, Philippine time) at Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio, California.
A huge underdog entering the 12-rounder, Heno surprised ring pundits with a strong showing that saw the southpaw score the fight’s only knockdown 30 seconds left in the 3rd round before yielding the middle rounds to Soto.
Soto, however, clinched the last two rounds and escaped with a 115-112 (twice) and 114-113 decision to retain the 115-pound crown he won by knocking out the highly touted Angel Acosta in the 12th and final round last July 21.
Having stopped his previous 4 opponents, Soto (16-1 with 11 knockouts) was picked to hand Heno (14-1-5, 5 knockouts) a beating.
Instead, the Mexican was pushed to the limit by Heno, who was outboxed in the first two rounds before tagging Soto with a hard left to the right side of the head in the 3rd.
According to international matchmaker Sean Gibbons, president of MP (Manny Pacquiao) Promotions, who arranged Heno’s title crack, the fight was really close and it could have gone Heno’s way had he been more aggressive in the last two rounds.
Though saddened by his ward’s loss in his first world title bid, Marty Elorde, Heno’s manager, found comfort in the fact that Heno gave a good account of himself and proved that he was a worthy challenger.
Another Filipino, Raymund Tabugon, suffered a 5th round knockout defeat to Acosta in a supporting flyweight bout. Acosta climbed to 21-2, all his victories by way of knockouts, while Tabugon dropped to 20-11-1, 11 KOs. – Rappler.com