By Ronnie Nathanielsz
Former WBO super bantamweight title challenger and WBO International featherweight champion Rey “Boom Boom” Bautista is making a comeback and will see action in an ALA Promotions fight card in Dubai, United Arab Emirates in March or April.
ALA Promotions president Michael Aldeguer revealed that Bautista, who was supposed to retire after his split decision loss to Jose Ramirez in Davao last April 20 ,was coming back and the ALA Promotions leadership “had a long talk with him earlier in December and he wants to come back.”
Aldeguer told the Manila Standard that “Boom Boom” told him he wants “to make a big comeback as a junior lightweight. He feels that he’s more mature now” even as he revealed they plan to bring him to the US to train there and “just bring him back to what he was before.”
The ALA Promotions president said “I think he needed the time.”
The 27 year old Bautista was among the more exciting fighters in the ALA stable and when he took a break after his loss to Ramirez he had a record of 34-3 with 25 knockouts.
In that fight Bautista was dropped in the very first round but fought back to deck Ramirez in the eighth round after which the Mexican was deducted a point by international referee Bruce McTavish after he elbowed Bautista in the ninth round and opened up a cut on his left cheek.
It was a furious give-and-take battle but in the end two of the judges Salven Lagumbay and Atty. Danrex Tapdasan both scored the fight by identical 114-111 margins for Ramirez while the third judge Edward Ligas had Bautista the winner by a similar 114-111 score.
The victory opened up a big opportunity for Ramirez who faced outstanding Olympic gold medalist Vasyl Lomachenko who was making his professional debut after signing up with Top Rank promoter Bob Arum. Lomachenko put on an impressive performance to win by a 4th round knockout against a game Ramirez who was counted out by referee Russel Mora with one second remaining in the round at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas.
Bautista who fought once before at The Lodge at Chi Garden in Dubai when he scored a 6th round knockout of Thailand’s Saichon Sotompitak is very popular in Dubai and was mobbed by overseas Filipino workers who posed for photos with the charismatic fighter as he entered the venue.
Trainer Edito “Ala” Villamor, a former world title challenger told the Standard that Bautista has “been running and staying in shape” and believes that his problem has been having to reduce to make weight.
Villamor said that “the decision to return is Bautista’s choice and we are there to support him” even as he said “Boom Boom” put on a good fight against Ramirez and “is an exciting fighter” who likes to stand in front of his opponent and trade punches much like Brandon “Bam Bam” Rios.
The noted trainer said “that’s his style and we can’t change it. In fact, that’s what makes him so popular.”Tags: Rey Bautista