General Admission

Fights between Filipinos KJ; ‘Lodi’ LeBron

By Al S. Mendoza  


IT was a fight harshly booed.

Sad because the clash featured Filipinos.

I refer to the Jerwin Ancajas-Jonas Sultan bout on May 27.

Ancajas won to retain his IBF world 115-lb flyweight crown—but not after he received the brunt of the jeers.

There were lots of Mexicans watching the fight in Fresno, California.

Known as certified fans of Filipino boxers triggered by Manny Pacquiao’s numerous conquests of Mexican fighters to earn the tag “Mexicutioner,” the Mexicans showed visible dismay in the Ancajas-Sultan bout.

“They were more angry at Ancajas than Sultan,” said a Filipino seated at ringside.

Indeed, Ancajas, while he is a very technically sound fighter, didn’t do as much to try to send Sultan to dreamland.

Ancajas could not land a champion’s punch against a foe sorely lacking in technique.

So one-sided was the fight that Ancajas won all but one of the 12 rounds.

I gave Sultan the third round—but grudgingly.

With wild shots dominating most of Sultan’s arsenal, Ancajas easily ran away with his 28th win against only one defeat.

For Sultan, the loss was his fourth in 18 fights even as he earned a share of history by being in the first world flyweight bout between Filipinos in 93 years.

Pancho Villa and Clever Sencio were the first Filipinos to battle for the world flyweight crown in 1925, with the legendary Villa also romping off with a unanimous decision victory.

It was actually Villa who first put the country in the world map of boxing with his exploits in the roaring twenties.

Unfortunately, Villa met an untimely death when he succumbed to an infected tooth following an extraction coming too close to a defense of his world crown against American Jerry Wilde.

Historically enough, it is our “smallness” that makes us dominate boxing’s flyweight division.

Donnie “Ahas” Nietes is the most famous Filipino world flyweight champion today, lording it over in another organization to establish himself as the longest-reigning world titlist in history at more than a decade now.

An Ancajas-Nietes unification bout now looms in the horizon.

And should that happen, Nietes becomes the heavy favorite—what with his experience and punching power.

But since I didn’t really like the Ancajas-Sultan fight to be staged, I cringed again at the thought of another All-Filipino world title bout happening yet again.  KJ (killjoy).

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I wrote this before Game 1 of the NBA Finals between Cleveland and Golden State on June 1.

Although a heavy underdog, Cleveland is my choice.

I am always fascinated by men of almost superhuman efforts like LeBron “King” James.

Against the Warriors’ Terrific Trio of Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson, King James might yet tow the Cavaliers into safe waters in the best-of-seven series.

Don’t you also marvel seeing at a real Superman like LeBron?

While there is no doubt that Michael Jordan is the GOAT (Greatest Of All Time), ‘Lodi’ LeBron is the GOHE (Greatest Of His Era).

Dispute that and you know nothing about the game.

*          *          *          *

Happy birthday to Dayong J. Mendoza (June 2).  Dayong is the assistant coach of San Miguel Beer, the eldest child of writer-journalist Sol F. Juvida. Cheers for beers!

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