Puerto Princesa bout nominated 'Fight of Year'
SPORTING CHANCE - Joaquin M. Henson () - November 3, 2011 - 12:00am

 It’s official. The slam-bang bout between Aurora’s Dado Cabintoy and Japan’s Hiroki Shiino for the vacant WBC International bantamweight title in Puerto Princesa last Saturday has been nominated as “Fight of the Year” in the WBC International category by championship chairman Mauro Betti of Italy.

That’s the word from Cabintoy’s manager Gabriel (Bebot) Elorde who said the fans in the coliseum went crazy from the opening bell until referee Bruce McTavish stepped in to declare Shiino the winner by technical knockout at 2:39 in the 11th round. McTavish himself said it was one of the five most exciting fights he’s ever worked in four decades and 178 world title bouts as the third man in the ring.

For McTavish to cite the fight, it had to be something special. McTavish, 71, has been involved in fights from the heavyweight to the minimumweight divisions since the 1980s, working at least five Manny Pacquiao bouts and matches featuring Joe Bugner, David Tua, James (Bonecrusher) Smith, Jeff Fenech, Angel Manfredy, Verno Phillips, Duke McKenzie, Nonito Donaire Jr., Brian Viloria, Dodie Boy Peñalosa and many, many more prominent champions. His resume lists assignments in Austria, England, Australia, New Zealand, China, Dubai, Hong Kong, Thailand, Japan, North and South Korea, Guam, Singapore, South Africa and even Siberia. To underscore his credibility, McTavish has been picked to conduct seminars on refereeing at the WBC Convention the last 10 years. He’s even been brought to Namibia to lecture in a seminar for African boxing judges and referees.

Cabintoy, 21, gave it all he had and was ahead on the three judges scorecards after four rounds. Shiino, 25, started to gain ground in the middle stanzas and by the eighth, two judges saw it even. In the 10th, Cabintoy went down from a barrage and in the next round, he was decked twice before McTavish called it off.

“You couldn’t ask anything more from Cabintoy,” said McTavish. “There were occasions when he was almost out on his feet then all of a sudden, he let out a burst to hurt the Japanese. It was give-and-take from the start. The kid’s got a lot of heart. At the end of nearly every round, I had to step in and break them up when the bell rang. That’s how intense it was. When I stopped it, nobody complained. The Japanese was the better man that night.”

* * *

Elorde said Shiino flew in from Japan with seven companions, including his mother. “Dado kept getting hit by Shiino’s jabs,” he noted. “It’s okay to get hit once but not twice in a row. He still has a lot to learn. He’s young but I know he’ll get better. He’ll learn from his mistakes. He had a badly swollen left eye at the end of the fight but the Japanese admitted his ribs hurt as early as in the third round.”

At the time of the stoppage, Shiino was ahead on the three judges’ cards with Rey Danseco scoring it 95-94, Romeo Yulo 96-95 and Virgilio Garcia 96-93.

Cabintoy was the only Filipino loser in the card that featured six others against Thais in WBC title fights. Renan Trongco, 22, raised his record to 10-3, with 7 KOs, as he stopped Sirisak Sitjarem for the vacant WBC Youth Intercontinental lightflyweight diadem. Gabriel Altarejos, 19, ran his mark to 10-0, with 4 KOs, in outpointing Gawna Sorsirisak for the interim WBC Youth Intercontinental superflyweight crown. Cris Paulino, 18, improved his slate to 7-0, with 2 KOs, as he decisioned Danai Meendaeng for the vacant WBC Youth Intercontinental flyweight title. Vergel Nebran, 21, upped his record to 7-3-1, with 6 KOs, in flattening Petchunan Sithpandaeng in the one round for the interim WBC Youth Intercontinental bantamweight belt. Jaderes Padua, 21, came back from an early knockdown to stop Manopnoi Singmanasak in the second round for the interim WBC Youth Intercontinental superbantamweight title. Padua’s record is now 6-1-1, with 4 KOs. And Jose Maxian, 20, made short work of Themsamuthr Duanaay-Mukdahan to raise his mark to 7-0, with 5 KOs, for the interim WBC Youth superfeatherweight crown.

* * *

Elorde said he lost money in the promotion but his consolation was the fans enjoyed a night of fireworks. He invested P3.25 Million in the card. “I paid a P150,000 deposit to ABS for the six WBC Youth fights to be shown on Studio 23 and my balance is another P150,000,” he said. “The show will be for two hours. I’m packaging the Shiino-Cabintoy fight with two bouts of (WBC No. 1 superflyweight contender) Sylvester Lopez for another program and I’m hoping there are sponsors willing to help. I’m doing this for boxing, not for profit. These kids are the future of Philippine boxing and I want to expose them on TV because I think, some of them could become world champions someday.”

Last Sunday after the Japanese and Thai fighters flew back to Manila from Puerto Princesa, the Elorde family led by D’ Flash’s widow Laura hosted a sumptuous lunch for the visitors and their companions in Sucat. “It’s all about sportsmanship, that’s what my father was known for,” said Elorde. “We always want to show Filipino hospitality. We’re fierce competitors in the ring but outside the ring, we’re all friends. That’s the legacy my father left behind in the boxing world.” 

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