By Ronnie Nathanielsz
His confidence boosted by the presence of General Santos City town-mate and “Fighter of the Decade” Manny Pacquiao at special ringside, hard-hitting southpaw Randy “ Razor” Petalcorin was as sharp as ever and dominated vastly more experienced Panamanian Walter Tello to win the WBA light flyweight Interim title by a spectacular 7th round stoppage at the ultra-modern Mercedes Benz Center in Shanghai, China, Tuesday night.
Fears that Tello’s experience in fighting for three world titles would make a difference never materialized as Petalcorin was methodical and broke down the Panamanian from the start of the fight.
Tello, ranked No. 6 by the WBA had fought and lost to WBO champion Manuel “Chango” Vargas in 2009, WBA champin a in 2010 and most recently dropped a close twelve round decision to WBA champion Alberto Rossel of Peru in 2013 while the only rated fighter No. 2 ranked Petalcorin faced in winning the Pan ASia Boxing Association title was world-rated Samartlek Kokietgym whom he dropped in rounds 3, 8 and 9 with deadly combinations.
Well known Australian promoter and co-manager of Petallcorin, Peter Maniatis, told BoxingScene/Manila Standard/Viva Sports that “it was one-way traffic.” His co-manager is Jim Manangquil, a young boxing enthusiast also from GenSan.
Maniatis told us Petalcorin “hurt Tello more than once and won all the rounds.”
However, the scorecards indicated that judges Pinit Prayadsab of Thailand and Dereck Milharn scored all six rounds for Petalcorin while judge Ferlin Marsh scored the fourth round for Tello.
An ecstatic Maniatis said Petalcorin dropped Tello with a vicious left uppercut to the jaw for the first time in round seven and followed it up with another devastating left uppercut and a right hook with the Panamanian’s “arms going one way and his legs the other” prompting referee Raul Caiz Sr to stop the one-sided bout as Tello appeared in no position to continue.
Tello had his moments in round four when he connected with a couple of overhand lefts and rights but Petalcorin quickly changed all that when he caught Tello with some rapid-fire combinations as Tello backpedaled.
An exuberant Petalcorin said Tello was “good but I could handle him easily.”
He credited his hard training first in Melbourne, Australia and then in GenSan for his “great condition” which was the key to his success.
With the win which international referee Bruce McTavish described as “fantastic,” Petalcorin improves to 22-1-1 with 17 knockouts while Tello who had previously fought three times for world titles dropped to 20-8 with 8 knockouts.
Petalcorin and Maniatis both thanked Viva Sports and the Main Event for their continued support of his career and the special pre-fight telecast over Pinoy Box Office (PBO) on Sky Cable at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday with a replay at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday.
Maniatis told the Standard that Pacquiao was “very impressed” with the performance of Petalcorin who is likely to face WBA champion Alberto Rossel of Peru, next or defend his interim title.