Freeman Cebu Sports

Moralde punishes Sabalde to win WBF regional crown

The Freeman

GENERAL SANTOS CITY, Philippines — In a superb display of tactical fighting skills, undefeated Sanman Boxing Club prospect  John Vincent “Mulawin” Moralde hammered his way to a unanimous decision victory over a very game Anthony 'Zorro' Sabalde of Cebu's Noy Pacing Flores Stable to snatch the vacant WBF International featherweight title in the main event of the 'Brawl at the Mall:Glory' last Saturday night at the atrium of the Gaisano Mall of Gensan here.

The 21-year-old Moralde had a tentative start, but as soon as he found his range halfway through the scheduled 10-round bout, he wowed the 3,000-plus screaming fans with his ring generalship.

In the early rounds though, Moralde had a hard time sizing up his foe. He worked on the body at first, only to be at the receiving end of Sabalde's combinations and left hooks. A composed fighter, however, Moralde moved around the ring with grace to parry Sabalde's hot charge.

Things started to look bright for Moralde in round five when he finally picked up his rhythm, connecting combinations at will and darting in and out of Sabalde with finesse using his excellent lateral movements, lightning-fast speed and superior defense that baffled Sabalde for the remainder of the bout.

It was an all-Moralde show from thereon as the Davaoeno pug peppered his hapless, but resilient foe with well-calculated jabs and crushing head blows that caused a huge swelling on the right side of Sabalde's face.

Moralde carried on his relentless attack the rest of the way to earn the nod of all three judges with uniform scores of 98-92.

"I had a hard time fighting him at first because I don't know yet his style," said Moralde, who stretched his unbeaten streak to 15 packed with 7KOs. "But as soon as I was able to measure him up, my confidence level grew high."

"Getting a world title shot is really one of my aspirations, but I still have to fight maybe at least five times more before I will go for it," he added.

Sanman Promotions CEO Jim Claude 'JC' Manangquil, the handler of Moralde, is satisfied with the performance of his ward, but he admitted that there's still a lot of work to be done for his boxer to become a complete fighting machine.

"He performed extremely well. He showed his true form as technical fighter," said Manangquil. "He still needs to develop his power but with his showing, I strongly feel that he is ready to step up to the next level of competition.

Manangquil said the immediate plan is to bring Moralde to the United States to train with stablemate Harmonito de la Torres, who is now based in Miami, Florida.

In the supporting main event, another unbeaten Sanman mainstay Romero Duno (9-0, 8KOs) floored Jason Egera three times in rounds one, two and seven before eventually forcing his battered opponent to wave the white flag before the start of the eighth round to claim the PBF super featherweight crown.

On the other hand, Ronie Tanallon also of Sanman Gym, eased through a unanimous decision win over Rodel Tejares to seize the PBF minimumweight belt. The official scores were 99-91,98-92 and 99-91.

Three other Sanman warriors also emerged victorious. Reymart Gaballo knocked out Bryan Samson at 1:28 of round one, Jayson Daming stopped Sadam Barambangan at 1:12 of round three, while Jayson Mama flattened Ramil Padayhag at 2:08 of the second round.

The most impressive win of the night, however, was delivered by Robert Paradero of Sajulga Stable based in Bukidnon. Paradero landed a string of power punches capped by an energy-sapping body shot that snuffed the air out of Jon-jon Santos' nose at 2:43 of the first round.  (FREEMAN)


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