by Ronnie Nathanielsz
Filipina Gretchen “Chen Chen” Abaniel stopped Thailand’s Modthanoi Sithsaithiong in the 4th round to win the Women’s International Boxing Association or WIBA minimumweight title in an entertaining fight card at the Makati Cinema Square on Sunday.
Abaniel won her first world title with a ten round unanimous decision over Thailand’;s Nongbua Lookpraiaree on March 25, 2009 but lost the crown in her second title defense to another Than, Samson Tor Buamas.
She also fought for the IBF female world title and lost by a 4th round TKO to the classy Mexican Katia Gutierrez in Sinaloa on December 10, 2011 before dropping a ten round decision to Thailand’s Teeraporn Pannimit last April 25.
Abaniel then came back to win a six round bout against Christine Latube who fought six fighters making their pro debut according to boxrec.com before capturing the WIBA title for the second time to improve her record to 12-4 with 3 knockouts while Modthanaoi dropped to 5-2 with 3 knockouts.
TV announcer and journalist Ted Lerner reported that Abaniel controlled the pace of the fight throughout, stalking her smaller opponent around the ring before landing a series of crushing right hands that had the Thai stunned.
After a flurry of shots Modthanaoi turned her back and wasclearly in trouble forcing referee Sammy Bernabe to call a halt at 1:36 of the fourth round.
In a post-fight interview Abaniel said “I’m so happy right now. I trained really hard for this fight because I know I can’t afford to lose again. I want to thank my manager Sir Jonathan(Thorp) of Team Insider for believing in me and for giving me this chance, and everyone who helped me and believed in me on my way back to being a champion.”
The win by Abaniel who was previously managed and trained by former Australian boxer Terry Mogg headlined an entertaining first fight card put on by Team Insider Promotions, led by British businessman and long time Philippine resident Jonathan Thorp.