By Ronnie Nathanielsz
IBF International featherweight champion Rey “Boom Boom” Bautista is “ready to rumble” when he battles undefeated Mexican knockout artist Miguel Angel Mendoza at the Hoops Dome in Lapu Lapu City, Cebu on Saturday according to trainer Edito “Ala” Villamor.
Although Mendoza’s fearsome record of 17 knockouts in 17 fights with only one draw wasn’t against top class opponents Villamor maintained that the 27 year old Mexican has power which is a view confirmed by boxing people in Mexico who gave the Manila Standard a rundown of the abilities of Mendoza.
Even the camp of former world light flyweight champion Giovanni Segura said Mendoza is a fighter, even as Segura himself said he had watched Bautista some years ago at the Wild Card Gym of Freddie Roach and felt he was good.
In a telephone conversation with BoxingScene.com/Manila Standard Tuesday morning, Villamor said “we have no problems, Boom Boom is in top condition.“ He said that after his last fight in June when he won the title with a 7th round technical decision over Heriberto Ruiz to avenge a previous defeat, Bautista had been on “focus training for three months” during which he sparred with bigger opponents including Adonis Arguello whose style duplicated that of Mendoza.
Villamor said the wrist injury that needed surgery and kept Bautista out of the ring for almost a year had healed completely and there was no problem.
For Bautista, who is world rated, the clash with the undefeated Mendoza is regarded as a career defining fight which may well decide the promising fighter’s future which was initially stalled when he suffered a first round knockout at the hands of the menacing Daniel Ponce De Leon in a super bantamweight world title fight on August 11, 2007.
Bautista has won eight of his last nine fights since then, losing only an eight round decision to Ruiz when he was suffering from a rotten bone in his left wrist which was subsequently removed after which he has gone on a winning run in the process scoring a rousing 4th round TKO over Alejandro Barrera and knocking the touted Mexican out in the third round in a rematch last January 29.
The “Pinoy Pride X” fight card will be telecast by the giant broadcast network ABS-CBN on December 11 at 10:15 a.m. The popular Pinoy Pride series is a joint effort of ALA Promotions and the country’s leading television network which will also telecast the fights internationally on The Filipino Channel, TFC.