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Boxing Kontra Droga: Elorde brothers victorious in their WBO title fights; Japan-based Melligen loses to Rufino



Juan Miguel and Juan Martin Elorde, grandsons of the late Boxing Hall of Famer Gabriel “Flash” Elorde, showed their skills and heart inside the ring that led them to victories in two of the fights, which highlighted the 15th Annual “Flash” Elorde Annual Awards and Banquet of Champions at the Manila Hotel on Wednesday night.

In the event that recognize country’s greatest boxers and also mark the 80th birthday of the late Filipino boxing legend “Flash” Elorde, both “Migs” and “Bai” Elorde rose to the occassion and lifted their WBO belts at the end of their fights in a room filled with Filipino boxing champions, fans and celebrities.

Juan Miguel “Migs” Elorde won his first title as pro as he dominated Tabthong Tor Buamas (14-3, 12 KO’s) of Thailand from start to finish, en route to a unanimous decision victory to capture the vacant WBO Asia Pacific super bantamweight title.

The 28-year-old son of former Southeast Asian Games boxing gold medalist Johnny Elorde was simply too much for his Thai challenger as he showed excellent hand speed and footwork to continuously beat Buamas to the punch. Elorde’s quickness and agility became evident in the early going as he was able to set up Buamas for solid combinations. In the end all three judges were impressed, and gave Elorde a shutout in their scorecards to give the super bantamweight star the vacant WBO 122 title. scores were 99-91, 99-91, 100-90.

“I’m very happy with my performance, especially to win the title in front of my family,” said Elorde. “I’ll take this performance as a challenge, there still a lot of things I need to improve for me to achieve my dream of becoming a world champion,” the new crowned WBO Asia pacific champion added.

This was Elorde’s eighth straight victory, and improves his record to (18-1, 9 KO’s), while the former Thailand flyweight champion Tabthong Tor Buamas drops to (14-3, 12 KO’s).

In an all out war, Juan Martin “Bai” Elorde retained his WBO Asia pacific junior lightweight title via unanimous decision in a thrilling 12 round slug fest against the very tough Hirotsugu Yamamoto of Japan.

It was a slugout right from the get-go, with the Japanese challenger keeping the pressure against the champion in the first round. In the second round the 30-year-old Elorde dropped Yamamoto with a right hook at the side of the head that outbalanced the Japanese challenger, which lead to 10-8 round for the champion. In the fourth round, Yamamoto was saved by the bell as power shots from Elorde found their targets at the final seconds of the round. The middle rounds of the fight could go either way in the judges scorecards as both fighters connects with their power shots. The seventh round was the best round for Yamamoto as he connected most of his jabs and slowed down the champion with his punches at the side of the body. The final rounds of the fight became a battle of attrition as both warriors gave their all and fought their hearts out until the final bell sounded.

In the end all three judges scored the fight 115-112 for the Parañaque City native, Elorde, who retained his WBO Asia pacific 130 title for the second time, and improves his record to 17-1-1, 7 KO’s.

“It was a tough fight but I’m very happy that I still successfully defended my title especially in front of my loved ones. This could be my last fight at 130 but I will still consult my family and team regarding that matter,” said Elorde. “This is for you lolo, happy birthday!”

In the main event, Vinvin Rufino (37-16-3, 16 KOs) of the Elorde boxing stable captured the vacant OPBF featherweight title with a technical majority decision victory against the Japan-based Mark Gil Melligen (21-5-1, 12 KOs)

The fight went to the judges’ scorecards as referee Virgilio Garcia stopped the fight at the end of the eighth round following the advice of the ring physician, due to a nasty cut on the right eyelid of Rufino that was caused by an accidental clash of heads.

It was a close and entertaining fight before the time of the stoppage, but the two knockdowns scored by Rufino on the early rounds became a big factor on the judges scorecards. In the end, the scores were 77-73, 77-74, 75-75 in favor of the 33-year-old Rufino making him the new OPBF 126 lbs champion.

Monico Laurente of the Elorde Boxing Stable won a 12-round unanimous decision over Marco Demecillo to retain his Philippine bantamweight title. Scores were 117-110, 117-110, 116-111

In other results:
Flyweight Bout (10rds): Giemel Magramo def. Jay-ar Estremos via TKO2 (2:42)
Super Bantamweight Bout (8rds): Joe Misako def. Jovil Maraya via TKO3 (2:11)

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