Revenge is a dish best served cold.
Filipino ring warrior Genesis “Azukal” Servania proved this as he knocked former WBA light flyweight champion Rafael “El Torito” Concepcion of Panama out cold in the second round of the main event of last Saturday night’s Pinoy Pride XXII: The Revenge at the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino.
A sharp right uppercut to the chin sent the cocky Panamanian to dreamland at the 2:04 mark of the second round.
The win was sweet revenge for Cebuanos as it somehow avenged Aj “Bazooka” Banal’s loss to Concepcion in 2008 here in Cebu. The knockout victory was also a perfect way to shut Concepcion’s mouth.
During a press conference held last week, the confident Panamanian announced that he was going to win via knockout. He was so sure of a KO win that he brought a pillow to the press conference and said he would let Servania use it after he knocks the Ilonggo out.
“Ang unlan iyang gidala para nako, nagamit hinuon niya,” Servania said. (The pillow he brought for me, was used on him instead.)
The 22-year-old Servania said Concepcion threw strong punches but he was able to stay clear of them. “Kusog jud nuon siya ug kumo pero ma block man nako iyang mga overhands. Unya ang knockout punch akong gigamit, amo jud to gi ensayohan ug maayo sa gym.” (He had strong punches but I was able to block his overhands. And the knockout punch I used, we really practiced that at the gym.)
But the knockout didn’t come instantly. Servania worked his way to setting up that killer blow. He sent Concepcion to the ropes early in the first round. Concepcion threw his signature haymakers and vicious overhands but Servania remained composed and was able to hurt the former with a perfectly timed counter left hook followed by an overhand right that pushed Concepcion to the ropes again.
A fray of power punches between Servania and Concepcion highlighted the opening round, with the former connecting cleaner shots and the latter desperately throwing more of his overhands and hooks.
Servania’s counter punches overwhelmed Concepcion in the final minute of the first round but the bell saved the Panamanian.
Concepcion tried to use a familiar tactic by holding on to Servania once things got out of hand but referee Bruce Mctavish warned Concepcion for this. Holding on to his opponent was the same tactic Concepcion used to overpower Banal in his 2008 win.
But that wasn’t helpful this time. After being warned, Concepcion and Servania went on a furious exchange in the second round with the latter connecting more. It was then that Servania countered Concepcion’s right overhand with a perfectly timed uppercut that downed the Panamanian completely.
That right uppercut was actually what Servania’s side planned to use against Concepcion. Edito Villamor and ALA Boxing Gym founder Antonio L. Aldeguer said they studied the Panamanian’s mistakes in each of his fights, particularly his third-round knockout loss to former world champion Fernando Montiel last 2010.
According to Villamor, Banal was also winning against Concepcion in 2008 but lacked one killer punch—the uppercut.
“Mao jud to among plano ni Servania. Gamiton ang uppercut para tumbahon si Concepcion kay magduko man gud siya pirmi so sulod jud kaayo ang uppercut,” Villamor said. “Pero wala mi gadahom ing-ato ka sayo matumba si Concepcion.” (That was really our plan with Servania. To use the uppercut to down Concepcion becuase he was always ducking so the uppercut was a sure shot. But we didn’t expect Concepcion to go down that way.)
Servania improved his undefeated record to 23 wins with nine knockouts while Concepcion suffered his ninth loss against 18 wins (eight KOs) and one draw.
The 2013 WBO “Best Boxer of The Year” now holds three titles—the WBO Intercontinental Super bantamweight title, the WBO Asia Pacific Super bantamweight belt and the WBO International Silver Super Bantamweight title.
Easy win for Villanueva
Meanwhile, “King” Arthur Villanueva easily disposed Mexican Edgar “Chololo” Martinez in their WBO International Super flyweight championship bout by knocking the latter out at the 1:49 mark of the first round.
Villanueva logged his 24th win and 14th knockout with no loss yet.
In the undercard, Roli “Zuma” Gasca won via a technical knockout over Indonesian Lande Olin at the 1:04 mark of the second round.
“IDOL” stalwart Mark “Machete” Bernaldez punished Thai Khunkiri Wor Wisaruth. Wisaruth’s corner surrendered in the fifth round after suffering a nasty cut in the left eye brow inflicted by Bernaldez’s strong combinations.
ALA Boxing gym prospect Mark “Magnifico” Magsayo knocked out General Santos City’s Hagibis Quiñones at the 2:40 mark of the first round round.
Another ALA pug, Richard “Chiwawa” Barrios, won unanimously over Valencia City’s Rocky Incepido after six rounds. Barrios’ stable mate Elmo “Bisdak” Traya clinched a unanimous decision victory over Gabby Siempo of Valencia City after four rounds and Kazuma Ejiri of Osaka Japan beat Don Amparado of General Santos City in the opening bout.