By Ronnie Nathanielsz
Sydney-based Filipino veteran Rey Anton “Stingray” Olarte gave undefeated Australian light middleweight Michael “Pretty Boy” Zafra the fight of his life before losing a close but unanimous ten round decision before a sellout crowd at the Malvern Town Hall in Melbourne, Australia.
Multi-awarded Australian promoter Peter Maniatis told the Manila Standard that among those at ringside were former WBC champion Johnny Famechon and Lesterv Ellis.
Maniatis said the action-packed bout looms as a candidate for Victoria’s “Fight of the Year.”
He said “the fight started fast and both boxers scored good, clean shots with Olarte connecting with good body shots and the 21 year old Zerafa countering and scoring cleanly as well, in the process rocking Olarte in the second round.”
Maniatis reported that “the big moment in the fight was the third round when Olarte landed a bomb on Serafa” which he claimed was “very similar to the punch Manny Pacquiao landed on Ricky Hatton.” The punch dropped Zerafa “down hard for the count as he hit the canvas very hard and made two attempts to get up and beat the count.”
He said “everyone was amazed Zerafa got to his feet and then started slugging it out with Olarte as the crowd went berserk with Olarte looking for one big punch to end the fight early.”..
Zerafa survived the round and took one more round to find his feet again but then started slugging again with Olarte as the crowd stood up, cheering wildly.
However, Zerafa boxed well in the later rounds and scored with the cleaner punches even as Olarte, according to Maniatis, “forgot the game plan and kept throwing bombs looking for the home run knockout which did not happen and Zerafa went on to win.”
All three judges scored the fight for Zerafa. One judge had Serafa ahead 97-92 but the two other judges scored it much closer with one judge giving it to the Aussie 96-94 and the third judge 95-94.
Maniatis revealed that because it was such an exciting bout a rematch is being planned for later this year.