By Ronnie Nathanielsz
The grandson of the late world junior lightweight champion Gabriel “Flash’ Elorde, Juan Martin “Bai” Elorde set the stage for his U.S debut on the undercard of the Manny Pacquiao-Antonio Margarito showdown on November 13, with a first round knockout of Thailand’s Sahasawat Khaedon at the packed Elorde Grand Ballroom in Paranaque, Saturday.
Elorde who is a southpaw like his legendary grandfather and has also adopted the nickname “Bai” caught Khaedon with a perfectly-timed left uppercut that sent him crashing to the canvas to be counted out by referee Sammy Bernabe at 2:04 of the opening round.
Lightweight Elorde who according to Pacquiao’s adviser Michael Koncz will be matched against a worthy opponent in the Dallas Cowboys Stadium fight card on November 13 with a possible record if 8-2 didn’t have much of a test against his Thai opponent who reportedly had a record of 10-4 with 4 knockouts.
Elorde sized up the heavily tattooed Khaedon who looked menacing but could only throw a couple of tentative punches, before Elorde ripped into him with a couple of solid body shots and then nailed him with the fight-ending uppercut. With the win Elorde kept his unbeaten record intact and improved to 11-0 with 4 knockouts.
Undefeated younger brother Juan Miguel “Mig” Elorde (7-0, 2 KO’s) was tense in his six round scrap with Richard Vasquez who had a forgettable record of 1-7-1 with 1 knockout and tried too hard to score a knockout, eventually settling for a shutout win with all three judges scoring the fight 60-54 for Elorde.
Elorde connected with some excellent hooks to the body and right straights to the head but the game Vasquez withstood the assault and stayed out of range whenever he felt he was in trouble.
Another U.S bound fighter welterweight Dennis Laurente who will also figure on the Top Rank fight card after scoring five wins since his US debut blasted Thailand’s Kompayak Sitsaithong to score three knockdowns in the very first round before referee Ver Abainza called a halt at 2:47 of the round.
Laurente chased Kompayak whose record was supposedly 10-4 with 2 knockouts from the opening bell, determined to put on a show. The only redeeming aspect of the Thai was that he got up from all three knockdowns and even though he beat the count it was clear that Kompayak was no match for the southpaw Laurente.
In a bout that went the eight round distance, Women’s International Boxing Association minimum weight champion Gretchen Abaniel put on another excellent performance to repeat over a game Thai girl, Nongbua Lookprai-Aree, winning every round in an action-packed bout.
The Thai girl who was beaten by Abaniel two years ago but had since won three fights and drawn one asked for a chance to avenge that defeat and Abaniel acceded only to give her another bad beating. With the win Abaniel who is likely to defend her WIBA title in the U.S early next year improved to 9-0 with 2 knockouts while Nongbua dropped to 10-5 with 4 knockouts.