By Ronnie Nathanielsz
Drian “Golden Fist” Francisco dispelled fears about his strength of mind in a highly touted test against veteran Michael Domingo and proved he had the will to win, erasing even his manager Elmer Anuran’s doubts about the former world title contender.
In a ten round bout that was a battle of tactics more than skill, Francisco’s awkward style proved troublesome for Domingo who allowed the former WBA super flyweight interim champion to take the early rounds which eventually helped him win a unanimous points decision.
All three judges scored the bout for Francisco with two judges turning in 96-93 scorecards and the third judge a closer 95-94 in the fight card promoted by Solar Sports and Anuran's "Saved by the Bell" promotions.
Domingo, who had belittled Francisco’s power in a pre-fight interview, finally realized that the world rated fighter could punch as he was shaken in the fifth round after Domingo himself connected with a couple of solid shots in the previous round.
Domingo who is a slow starter tried to pick up the tempo in the last few rounds but Francisco answered by opening up a cut on Domingo’s left eyebrow in the eighth round.
The win helped Francisco recover from the loss of his interim world title to Thailand’s Tepparith Singwancha last May 1 in a close bout at least on the scorecards of judges Raul Caiz Jr and Francisco Martinez who scored the fight for the Thai 114-113 compared to Takeshi Shimakawa of Japan who had Tepparith the winner by a wide 117-111 margin.
Francisco who is currently ranked No. 4 in the world by the WBA is expected to move up in the rankings following the win on Saturday at the Makati City Coliseum.
ALA Promotions vice president Dennis Canete admitted “Talo talaga. We really lost because Francisco was more active while Domingo was too tight and only threw one punch at a time. He had a hard time with Francisco’s style.”