Lopez wins WBC International title; Tubieron-Magali ends in draw
MANILA, Philippines – Despite the seemingly insurmountable odds, Silvester Lopez captured the World Boxing Council (WBC) International bantamweight belt by scoring an upset over compatriot Rex Wao on Sunday, December 28 at the Flash Grand Ballroom of the Elorde Sports Complex in Parañaque City, Metro Manila.
The 27-year-old Lopez knocked out a highly-touted prospect Wao by landing a well-timed left hook to the jaw and a hard blow to the body in the seventh round.
Lopez, a 5-foot-6 native of Kabasalan, Zamboanga Sibugay who has been fighting since 2006, was determined to close out the year on a high note as he dropped his counterpart in the opening moments of the first round with a wild right.
In the second round, Lopez worked with his counter left jab that rocked a reckless-punching Wao on several occasions while waiting for the opening to clout his uppercut to the chin.
Although he had hesitations in throwing follow-up shots in the succeeding frames of the title tilt, Lopez consistently found his rhythm in his clean jabs to the head and left uppercuts to the ribcage that obviously mollified Wao’s hard-hitting style.
However, Wao was able to put himself on the driver’s seat in the fifth round, where he slowed down the pace and frequently smacked his signature right hand.
Shifting the momentum back on his side in the sixth stanza, Lopez engaged in a toe-to-toe trade with Wao, repeatedly staggering his opponent with a sharp right straight and keeping his jabs busy once more.
Lopez toyed Wao with a simple double jab-straight combination at the start of the seventh round before opting to finish the job.
As Wao sported a poor defensive stance, Lopez clobbered a left hook to the cheek before delivering a solid shot to the midsection that sent the 24-year-old titleholder crashing down to the canvas and referee Virgilio Garcia counted him out at the 2:35 mark.
With the impressive victory over Wao, Lopez (23-9-2, 17 knockouts) claimed his third WBC International crown in his boxing career and managed to win two out of his 5 matches in 2014.
On the other hand, Wao tasted the first setback in his professional run and downgraded his prizefighting record to 10-1, 8 KOs.
Tubieron-Magali ends in draw
The action-packed encounter between Dennis Tubieron (19-3-2, 8 KOs) and Carlo Magali (18-7-3, 9 KOs) for the vacant WBC International featherweight strap resulted in a majority draw.
One judge ruled in favor of Tubieron with a 115-113 score, while the other two ringside officials gave an identical 114-114 mark.
In the first five rounds of the contest, Magali surprised Tubieron with his in-your-face approach of fighting as he constantly pummeled the 24-year-old stalwart from Puerto Princesa City, Palawan with a crisp right fist and had the leverage in closed-quartered exchanges.
Tubieron was able to turn it around in the following rounds of the championship clash as “The Scorpion” maintained distance and backpedalled from Magali’s reckless punches while hitting his patented lefts to the head.
Although he appeared to lose his steam in the 10th round after swapping phone-booth blows with Magali in round nine, Tubieron pounded a double left hook to the temple that opened a gory gash above his opponent’s right eye.
Sensing the urgency to conclude the marquee match-up in a definitive fashion, Magali rallied by turning up the volume of punches in the 12th and final round, but the southpaw Tubieron continued his game plan by having the proper distance to land his left straight.
In spite of the thrilling back-and-forth battle inside the squared-circle, the 12-round duel between Tubieron and Magali ended in a draw, and in return, the WBC International featherweight championship remains vacant.
Since its inception in 1987, the aforementioned WBC title was held by three Pinoy pugilists in the past such as Bernabe Concepcion, Rey “Boom-Boom” Bautista and Jun Talape.
Meanwhile, Luisito Espinosa came up short in his campaign to bag the belt in August 1993 when he was thwarted by Alejandro Gonzalez in the second round, but he was able to win a WBC world title two years later. – Rappler.com
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