HARD-HITTING World Boxing Organization Asia-Pacific champion Rey “Boom Boom” Bautista, one of the Philippine’s rising prospects, weighed in a bit heavier against his Thai opponent prior to their scheduled all-important bout Friday (Saturday in Manila) at the 8,500-seat Blaisdell Arena in downtown Honolulu, Hawaii. The unbeaten 19-year old native of Candijay, Bohol tipped the scale in the official weigh-in yesterday at 118 ½ pounds, about 1/8 of a pound heavier than his foe, Aree Phosuwangym, Thailand’s former amateur national champion who is under Bangkok tycoon Kokiet Panichayrom.
Ethnic Filipinos in Aloha State are expected to root for the fighter of Cebu province’s Antonio L. Aldeguer in his United States debut, which is set for 10 rounds.
According to a text message from Aldeguer, Bautista impressed the media during his training under the watchful eyes of trainer Edito "Ala" Villamor last March 19 at Kalakaua Gym.
Villamor along with Aldeguer’s associate Sammy Gello-Ani will work at Bautista’s corner in today’s fight after the preliminary local bouts between Hawaii and California boxers, which begin at 7:30 p.m.
Left the Philippines last March 5, Team Bautista will fly after the fight to Los Angeles to watch US-based former Philippine champions -- middleweight Jerry Balagbagan and super-fly Vernie Torres – tangle with Mexican foes, Jose Juan Mendiola and Salvador Casillas respectively, on Saturday (Sunday in Manila) at the Grand Olympic Auditorium.
Bautista, who holds a 14-0-0 win-loss-draw slate with 10 knockouts, is fresh from keeping the WBO Asia-Pacific 118-lb crown against South Africa’s Vuyisile Bebe last January 29 in Mandaue City.
Phosuwangym sports an 8-2-1 record without knockout win. He is coming off in two-straight victories to end the same number of defeats last year, one and his first setback against Paranaque-based Rexon Flores in Manila.
Vying for the vacant WBO Asia-Pacific flyweight throne, Flores floored Phosuwangym in the second with right straight punch. He rose from the canvass and fought until the final bell, losing via unanimous but close decision in two of the three judges scorecards.
Bautista, has right-hand stance like Flores, floored Bebe by looping right to the face en route to an easy decision win in front of a sellout crowd of 6,000 at the Mandaue Cultural and Sports Complex Mandaue City,
Aside from his reputation, Bautista stakes in the fight his No. 25 ranking in the World Boxing Council – the highest among Filipino bantamweights -- and No. 9 in the World Boxing Organization – 2nd ranked Pinoy next to No. 7 and fellow Cebu-based Z Gorres.
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