Vicelles (photos by Allan Defensor)

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LILOAN, CEBU- Ronnie Mark Vicelles narrowly escaped victory to crown himself as the new World Boxing Association (WBA) Asia South light flyweight champion in a closely fought contest Saturday night in the Panphil Frasco Memorial Gym in Liloan town.

He won in a majority decision over the technically proficient Jesse Espinas of the SGG Boxing stable but the judges’ scores indicated that the fight was close as the three of them have scored it the way they saw the fight in the ring from where they sit.

Panamian judge Carlos Costa and Arnie Najera both scored it 96-94 to secure the win for the southpaw Vicelles but judge Edgar Olalo had it a 95-95 draw. Games and Amusement Board (GAB) chairman Abraham Kahlil “Baham” Mitra described the result as “close contest.”

“It was close” Mitra, the supervising WBA Asia official of the bout told iNews.Ph right after the 10 round championship fight which was also witnessed by GAB Commissioner Mar Masanguid. The three judges had only two rounds that gave unanimous scores favoring Vicelles (2,4); two others were for Espinas (6, 8l) but the rest differs especially in the last round where Costa and Najera both gave it to Vicelles but Olalo did not.

Olalo also gave the 1st round to Espinas, the two had it for the new champion. Vicelles who have a swollen face after the bout admitted that he had difficulty in winning as their fight video of Espinas that he watched on the internet was different compared to what Espinas had displayed in their actual fight. “I had difficulty in adjusting because what I saw in Youtube was different,” Vicelles said in Cebuano in a post-fight interview.

His coach, Jinggoy Junco admitted he too was surprised but he timely adjusted their fight strategy to secure the victory. Junco said that aside from capturing the vacant WBA Asia South light flyweight championship belt, they were after the world rankings of Espinas.

“You get bigger fish, you get a higher ranking,” Junco said. Espina is not listed in the WBA light flyweight ranking however but he is ranked No.14 by the World Boxing Council (WBC) and No. 15 by the International Boxing Federation (IBF). In the supporting bout, Manuel “Joy-Joy” Formentera (11-3-0, 7KO’s) of ALA boxing stable disposed of Andro Laurio (10-3-1, 7KO’s) in just 49 seconds of the very first round of their scheduled 10 rounder.

Formentera perfectly executed a right cross that hit most of the left ear of Laurio sending him to the canvass on all fours. The Masbate native Laurio tried to stand up but the dizzied fighter still lost his balance prompting referee Nic Banal to count him out. Another Omega prospect Tomjone ‘Wardog” Mangubat (11-1-1, 9KOs) won in his comeback fight for 8 rounds against Joffrey Garcia (6-11-4,5KOs).

Mangubat just came from a shocking loss to Ariel Baconaje, failing to capture the World Boxing Council (WBC) Asia Silver featherweight belt last April. The omega boxing club is under the auspices of Omega Pro-Sports International (OPSI) of the International Pharmaceutical Inc. (IPI)./AAJ


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