Freeman Cebu Sports

Abne survives toughest yet, Gabunilas TKOs foe in eight

Emmanuel B. Villaruel - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines —  ARQ Stable’s flyweight prospect April Jay “Astroboy” Abne passed the toughest test yet of his budding career, grinding through a close but well-deserved unanimous decision victory over the gritty Christian “Chiquito” Bacolod in the well-applauded main event of ARQ Sports Promotions’ “Engkwentro 6” last Sunday night at the Bonifacio Bacaltos Sports Centrum in Sibonga town, south of Cebu.

Abne, the reigning Oriental and Pacific Boxing Federation (OPBF) Silver champion who is currently ranked No.30 by the World Boxing Council (WBC), was on the defensive end for most of the way as Bacolod pressed on the attack from the beginning until the end of their highly entertaining 10-round rumble that thrilled the large throng of spectators to the bones.

Bacolod, who is handled by the Las Vegas-based Morris East, a former world titlist turned sought-after trainer, got off to an aggressive start and gamely figured in a heated exchange with Abne in the first half of their action-packed match.

But Abne wisely parried Bacolod’s relentless attacks with his clever defense, sharp jabs and counter-punches that most of the time stopped Bacolod in his tracks.

Bacolod caught Abne with some good combinations in rounds seven and eight and then then landed a solid right overhand to the temple that wobbled Abne in the closing seconds of the 10th and last round.

The 23-year-old Abne groped for form but managed to weather the ordeal until the final bell.

When the dust settled, judges Edward Ligas, Arnel Pasion and Noel Flores submitted uniform scores of 96-94, all in favor of the Manticao, Misamis Oriental-native Abne.

“Lig-on sad akong kontra apan mapasalamaton ko niya kay dako kaayo ko og nakuha nga experience atong awaya,” said Abne, who now holds a 10-1 slate spiked with 5KOs. Bacolod suffered his only second defeat in 16 fights with 10KOs.

In the supporting main event, the OPBF Youth light flyweight titleholder John Paul “Angas ng Cebu” Gabunilas courageously battled through a bum stomach before pulling off an eighth round Technical Knockout (TKO) win over the equally-tough Ruben Dadivas of Manny Pacquiao’s MP Stable.   

Not showing any signs of illness, Gabunilas dictated the pace of the bout from the get go until he landed a vicious head shot that opened a nasty cut just over the left eye of Dadivas in the fourth round.    

Gabunilas skillfully made it a constant target since then, landing well-calculated head combos that further aggravated the injury of Dadivas.

As blood continuously flowed out of Dadivas’ gash, referee Rey Caitom stopped the fight upon the advice of ringside physician Byron Garcia at the end of round eight.

Gabunilas thus improved his record to 8-1 with 5KOs while Dadivas dropped top 8-2 (4KOs).

In the other results, brothers Rodex and Bryx Piala both stopped Danny Tampipi and Ponciano Rimandiman in rounds three and four, respectively, while Berland Robles, Bryan James Wild and Ramel Macado, Jr. prevailed by unanimous verdict against Ramil Antaran, Mateo Handig, and Alvin Camigue.

Rodel Wenceslao beat Ernesto Cagampang by technical decision, Yerroge Gura forced Jeffrey Galero to throw in the towel at the end of round two, while Abne’s younger brother Ian Paul fought to a technical draw with Charlie Malupangue.


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