By Ronnie Nathanielsz
Lightweight Rufino “Pinoy” Mante of Tagbilaran City, Bohol who is ranked No. 11 in the June ratings of the Philippine Games and Amusements Board was allowed to move up two weight divisions to face Japanese No. 12 welterweight Kazuya Maruki and lost a unanimous ten round decision in Aichi,Japan on Sunday.
The 24 year old Mante had a poor record of only 8 wins against 15 losses and 2 draws with 4 knockouts to his name while Maruki who is one year older had a record of 13-2 with 9 knockouts to his name. Besides, the Japanese had a three inch height advantage at 5’9” to Mante’s 5’6”.
Maruki is the son of former world title challenger Takao Maruki who lost by a 15 round unanimous decision to Samuel Serrano in a WBA junior lightweight title fight after being dropped in the 5th round in Nagoya, Japan on November 29, 1978.
The Japan Boxing Commission informed the Manila Standard that Maruki won on the scorecards of all three judges by margins of 97-95, 98-93 and 98-93.
Mante was coming off back-to-back defeats. He lost a unanimous ten round decision to Rene Bestudio in a Philippine Boxing Federation super featherweight title fight last February 9 after dropping a ten round majority decision to Thailand’s Padjai Yongyuthgym on December 13, 2012.
On the other hand Maruki was coming off two successive victories by unanimous decision.