The Philippines’ Games and Amusement Board (GAB) has backed up promoter GABRIEL “BEBOT” ELORDE JUNIOR’S quest to set JUANITO RUBILLAR in another World Boxing Council (WBC) light-flyweight title bout.
Newly appointed GAB chairman ERIC BUHAIN and boxing division chief EMMANUEL “NOLI” FLORES recently requested Mexico-based WBC president JOSE SULAIMAN to install current WBC No. 4 ranked Rubillar in a higher ranking.
“We requested Mr. Sulaiman to rank Juanito as high as number two but not below number three,” said Flores, the only Filipino member of the WBC ranking committee.
The Filipino officials explained the 27-year old southpaw is active and must not be ranked below former WBC Fecarbox light-fly champ ERIC ORTIZ, who has moved up to No. 3 in WBC’s January rating despite fighting only twice last year.
Flores told Boxingtalk, that the Mexico City-native Ortiz lost in an ugly 4th round technical knockout to LUIS VALDEZ in March 2003 and made his last appearance last year, winning only via technical decision in the fifth round against Filipino WYNDELL JANIOLA in their IBF light-flyweight title eliminator in September 9 in Tijuana, Mexico.
Rubillar’s only defeat in four outings in 2004 was a narrow and controversial 12 round decision in a mandatory rematch against reigning WBC light-flyweight champ JORGE “TRAVIESO” ARCE in the main event of that card in Tijuana, Flores continued. The officiating of American referee TOBY GIBSON as well as the verdict, according to experts, was bias for the Mexican.
Due to no WBC official being present, Mexican promoter FERNANDO BELTRAN, who also manages Arce, easily orchestrated a controversy in the official weigh-in exclusively for Arce and Rubillar at Tijuana’s Plaza Revolucion. The rest of the participants on the card, including Janiola and Ortiz, weighed in before WBC officials at the Tijuana Boxing Commission.
After Elorde was heard to change the scale, which he suspected was tampered with to help Arce to make weight, Beltran’s people never let Elorde see what was going on as they put a towel over the scale while at least 20 people crowded the champion.
“They reasoned, Arce was undressed,” said Elorde, who also accused the fight's judges of robbing Rubillar from a win, going on to offer Arce 100,000 dollars for a rematch, which would be held in the Philippines last December or even in Arce’s backyard. The 5-foot-6 Mexican refused to risk his reputation.
The decision of the fight initially announced as split decision, but few days later the WBC released a news article in their website, claiming Arce’s victory was via unanimous decision. The WBC reversed judge GALE VAN HOY’s 115-112 decisions for Rubillar and never critiziced the 119-108 verdict of judge ROY OVALLE for the champ. The third judge DAVID HARRIS also favored Arce, 115-112.
“It was a terrible decision. Juanito was the aggressor, he threw more punches and landed more than Arce did,” recalled Elorde, who worked as assistant to second FERNANDO CABANELLA in Rubillar’s corner.
Two months later last November 27, Rubillar rebounded from that setback by knocking out former Thailand light-flyweight champ SAMRANSAK SINGMANASSAK in the first round at Casino Filipino in Parañaque City, Philippines.
Rubillar’s other victory for 2004 was against RICKY MANATAD in March before a draw in the third round four months later with FLASH SIMBAJON due to a nasty cut after an accidental headbutt occurred.
Elorde initially requested Sulaiman to install the former two-time WBC International champ Rubillar as first challenger within 90 days after the successor of Arce determines.
Arce aims for second world title by challenger WBC flyweight boss PONGSAKLEK WONJONGKAM under the MANNY PACQUIAO-ERIK MORALES 10-round super-featherweight rumble on March 19 at MGM Grand in Las Vegas. The original plan, WBC wants No. 1 ROBERTO VASQUEZ of Panama to face No. 2 JOSE ANTONIO AGUIRRE of Mexico for Arce’s belt, but the Panamanian warrior is opted to fight Colombia’s BEBIS ANTONIO MENDOZA for the vacant WBA light-flyweight belt in TEIKEN PROMOTIONS’s installation on March 18 at Roberto Duran Coliseum in Panama City.
“Rubillar must instead fight for the title now that Vasquez is out of the picture,” said Elorde, who believed a Mexican versus Mexican for the world title makes bad impression for the Mexico-based WBC. “My boy is always in tip-top shape and ready to rumble even tomorrow.”
Sulaiman hasn’t yet replied on the Filipino officials’ letter of request that was faxed in their office in Mexico City last week, according to Flores.
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