By Ronnie Nathanielsz
Despite dropping undefeated Raul “Rayito” Garcia in the final round with a hard right, Florante Condes lost his International Boxing Federation minimum weight title by a unanimous decision to the Mexican who was fighting before his hometown fans in Laz Paz.
While two of the three judges scored the fight for Garcia by identical scores of 115-112, the third judge had Garcia the winner by a ridiculous 118-110 score . The three judges appointed by the IBF were Adelaide Byrd of Nevada, Abraham Pacheco of Hawaii and Alejandro Lopez of Mexico.
However, as of this hour Viva Sports hasn’t been able to contact the Condes party despite several overseas calls to their hotel rooms to find out what really happened in the fight.
As far as we gather the knockdown scored by Condes in the final round was too little too late as the southpaw Garcia had piled up points by fighting smart and staying away from the vicious shots of the Filipino southpaw who is nick-named “The Little Pacquiao.”
Highlights of the fight posted on You Tube showed Condes often on the ropes inviting Garcia to throw punches with the hope of catching him with a strong counter. It worked on a few occasions when Condes landed some hard shots in round seven and appeared to stun Garcia with a solid right in the ninth but once again got caught on the ropes allowing the Mexican southpaw to unload a flurry of punches which didn’t hurt Condes but scored points for Garcia.
With the crowd chanting his name Garcia, who moved well and threw some well-timed shots from a distance finished with a flourish. Knowing he was behind on points Condes rushed out of his corner in the final round and dropped Garcia with a cracking right but the undefeated Mexican came back quickly and engaged Condes until the end of the round when both fighters embraced.
Garcia who prepared for the title shot under the watchful eye of trainer Leo Camacho had said weeks before the title fight confidently predicted “I will conquer” even as he said “I’m going to fight smart. .I will fight with all the boxing skills and power.”
Although the Mexican said the punching power of Condes didn’t scare him, he did get dropped by a right once again demonstrating the power of Condes.
While trainer Danny Bactol worked on Condes’ footwork and speed in training it seems the almost one year lapse after he won the title via a unanimous twelve round decision in a tough battle against Indonesia’s Muhammad Rachman left the soft-spoken Condes ring rusty which told in the end against a boxer like Garcia.
The loss of Condes leaves the Philippines with four world champions led by WBC super featherweight Manny Pacquiao, IBF flyweight Nonito Donaire, WBO bantamweight Gerry Penalosa and WBO minimum weight Donnie Nietes.