Pan Asia Boxing Association (PABA) lightweight champion Dennis Laurente hardly worked up a sweat and used a single left hook to the jaw to knock out Indonesian challenger Moses Seran at 2:34 of the seventh round in retaining his crown at the Le Pavillion off Roxas Boulevard last Friday night.
Laurente, 30, patiently looked for an opening to land a big punch and stalked his prey from the start. He peppered Seran with right jabs to the face and dictated the tempo as the Indonesian just couldn’t figure out how to stave off the Filipino southpaw.
Seran’s strategy was to goad Laurente into a toe-to-toe slugfest. As a counterpuncher, the Indonesian waited for Laurente to attack before unleashing but the Filipino’s defense proved impregnable. Laurente kept his arms close to his chest and hands held up to protect the chin, frustrating Seran who couldn’t find the angles to unload.
Thai referee Chalern Prayadsab counted Seran out as he lay face down on the canvas. It took several minutes for Seran to regain his senses and walk out of the ring on his own.
The win raised Laurente’s record to 29-4-5, with 14 KOs. Seran’s record dropped to 41-9, with 36 KOs.
The fight was a rousing cap to an evening extravaganza that featured singers Jericho Rosales, Skarlet and the Belle Star dancers. A live bidding of sports collectibles was conducted by professional auctioneer Michelle Espino of HMR Group Pty. Ltd. to raise funds for the underprivileged beneficiaries of the Springboard Foundation during the show.
The Springboard Foundation was formed in 2002 by expatriates in the country to develop healthy and nurturing environments for poor Filipino children. Every year, it stages a charity boxing event – called Live Match – to raise funds for projects. Springboard has raised over P35 million since inception for beneficiaries like the Little Children’s Home, Angeles Bahay Bata, Philippine Christian Foundation, Basao Provincial Hospital, Kilusan Ng Diwa Ng Taguig Foundation, Elsie Gaches Village and Street Pals Foundation.
In last Friday’s live auction, Springboard raised over P1.6 million. Among the sports memorabilia that were gobbled up by bidders were a framed Muhammad Ali boxing glove with his autograph and a certificate of authenticity for P150,000, a Liverpool football club jersey for P110,000, a Rangers football club jersey for P100,000, a Manchester United football jersey for P90,000, an autographed Andy Flintoff cricket bat for P85,000 and an autographed Lance Armstrong jersey from the 2005 Tour de France for P80,000.
The biggest bargains were the P40,000 bid for a bronze cast of David Beckham’s right football shoe, P30,000 for Lennox Lewis‚ autographed Lonsdale boxing glove, P60,000 for Joe Frazier’s green Everlast boxing shorts, P25,000 for racer Lewis Hamilton’s cap and P12,000 for racer Fernando Alonso’s cap.
Private bids were also accepted for an autographed Manny Pacquiao boxing glove, an autographed Rey (Boom Boom) Bautista boxing glove, a black-and-white poster of referee Arthur Donovan counting out Max Schmeling with Joe Louis looking on during their 1938 heavyweight rematch and a Nike golf ball autographed by Tiger Woods.
In other fights, lightflyweight prospect Jayson Rotoni halted Rian Rinos at 1:07 of the first round, Marnelle Verano pitched a shutout in scoring a unanimous four-round decision over Baina Londo in a lightflyweight female pro bout and Zimbabwe’s Paul (African Assassin) Retzlaff outpointed England’s James (The Lightning) Johnson, 66-64, in a lightheavyweight “expat” fight under amateur rules.
A crowd of over 600 packed Le Pavillion to support the Springboard event. Watching at ringside were OPBF president Frank Quill of Australia, Mrs. Laura Elorde and her sons Bebot and Johnny, Liza Elorde, British Ambassador Peter Beckingham and New Zealand referee Bruce McTavish and wife Carmen.
The “expat” fight had the spectators up on their feet the entire four-round distance. ABAP officials worked the contest with Mar Abalos as referee and Sonny Dollente, Rolando Jose and Billy Pamero the judges.
“Springboard has continued to support many worthwhile causes and has made a real difference in the lives of less fortunate Filipino children and their families,” said Foundation president Annette Helbig. “It fills all of us at the Foundation with great pleasure to extend support to some of the neediest Filipino children. One day, please come with me to see the smiles of the children we serve and the gratitude of the mothers and fathers whose children’s lives have been changed because you cared.”