by Ronnie Nathanielsz
ALA Promotions has announced it is “taking legal action against the person behind this act of deceit” in reference to a Mexican agent identified as Victor Hugo Correa who was contracted to send Genaro “Poblanito” Garcia who had a record of 38-8 with 22 knockouts and had fought eight world champions but instead switched fighters and sent a bum identified as Genaro "Panterita" Garcia.
In a farcical fight which had been drummed up as the main event in ABS-CBN’s highly successful “Pinoy Pride” series before almost 50,000 fans at the Carlos P. Garcia Sports Complex in Tagbilaran City, Bohol the impostor Garcia charged in with his eyes closed and his head bent low and threw a couple of wild punches before Bautista dropped him with solid body shots early in the second round and then finished him off with a chopping right hand at 1:24 of the round.
ABS-CBN vice president for Sports, Peter Musngi, decided against telecasting the fiasco and bringing down the high standards of the past 11 “Pinoy Pride” series while ALA Promotions president Michael Aldeguer in announcing the plan to press charges against the Mexican agent said “Integrity which we have upheld for decades is of utomost importance to ALA Promotions as wel owe all this to our TV network partner, our sponsors and most importantly to the public.”
ALA Promotions refunded those who had bought tickets for the fights, in the process suffering a huge loss which was also bound to hurt ABS-CBN financially.
The Manila Standard checked on the fighter’s passport which was under the name of Carlos Garcia Gutierrez and by his performance in the ring raised suspicions that he was not even lightweight Genaro “Panterita” Garcia who showed up without even a trainer. Boxrec.com indicated that listed lightweight Genaro "Panterita" Garcia had a record of 10-11 with 6 knockouts but World Boxing Council president Don Jose Sulaiman who checked the different organizations in Mexico said “Panterita” Garcia had a miserable record of 6 wins with 11 defeats. At the same time the WBC president said that Genaro “Panterita” Garcia “ did not visit the Mexican Boxing Commission for approval” to fight in the Philippines which is a requirement.
Sulaiman also reported that “Victor and Hugo Correa are father and son; the father has a license from Tlaxcala and the son from Mexico City.” The WBC president added “ they seem not to have a good reputation and seem to be known for taking boxers to other places either with false approvals from Tlaxcala or other places.”
Respected boxing patron Tony Aldeguer told the Manila Standard it was a “nightmare” for him and apologized for all the inconvenience. Aldeguer told us that in all his years in boxing he had never been cheated this way and felt “terrible" because thousands of fight fans, many of them foreign tourists, had been deprived of what was supposed to be a career defining fight for Bautista who received some subdued boos after his win.
The Bautista-Garcia fiasco was somehow salvaged by the excellent ten round battle between undefeated super bantamweight Genesis "Azukal" Servania who scored a unanimous decision over tough and talented Kenyan Nick Otieno and the victories of Michael Domingo and promising young Jason Pagara.
In a lively opening two rounds Servania and Otieno traded punches before the Kenyan rocked Servania with a solid combination and had the Filipino clinging on until he cleared the cobwebs from his head and fought back with a fine combination towards the end of the round.
It was Servania's turn to stagger Otieno in round four with a cracking uppercut befor a visibly shaken Otieno was saved by the bell. Servania shook Otieno again in round seven with a terrific combination and wound up with a flurry of punches in the tenth and final round to seal an impressive win.
Judges Noli Flores and Edwin Barrientos scored the fight 99-91 although ring announcer Ted Lerner misread Barrientos scorecard as 99-98 which stunned the crowd and made us wonder what fight Barrientos was watching before we were informed of the mistake which Lerner claimed emanated from the GAB officials at the fight and not him.With the win Servania improves to 17-0 with 5 knockouts.
Super bantamweight Michael Domingo dropped Marvin Tampus with a ripping left hook to the liver sending Tampus down in agony and hammering the canvas with his right hand because of the pain similar to what Oscar De La Hoya did when Bernard Hopkins nailed him with a hook to the liver. The knockout came at 1:28 of the opening round and delayed a planned retirement by Domingo if he didn't win impressively. With the spectacular victory Domingo improved to 45-16-2 with 20 knockouts.
Young light welterweight prospect Jason "El Nino" Pagara dropped Indonesian champion Franz "Hands of Stone" Yarangga three times in the second round of a one-sided contest to emerge victorious at 2:41 of the second round with the three knockdown rule in effect. Pagara improved his record to 28-2 with 17 knockouts.