Crisanto “The Slugger” Pitpitunge’s road to redemption has faced a huge road block.
22-year-old New Zealand-based fighter Kai “Don’t Blink” Kara-France scored an impressive third round referee’s stoppage victory over Pitpitunge to enter the PXC Flyweight Title picture, Friday evening at the UOG Calvo Field House in Guam.
A day prior to the bout, both fighters had missed the 125 flyweight limit for the bout, with Kara-France weighing a pound over 125 while the Filipino weighed in at 128 lbs. According to PXC matchmaker Ken San Nicolas, both fighters worked out the penalty details per their contracts.
Pitpitunge, knowing that a win might result to a rematch with Jinel Lausa, was the aggressor in the opening minutes of the bout. He was able to land a huge overhand right in the opening seconds of the bout. Kara-France displayed great footwork, weaving in and out of combinations around the Filipino flyweight. A body shot by the Kiwi opened up the head of the Filipino. Noticing this, Kara-France went on a head-hunting spree but to no avail. A head kick to a right straight combination by the Kara-France was followed by a huge right to back down Pitpitunge and close out the round.
Surprisingly, “The Slugger” quickly went for a shoot and converted on a successful takedown to open the second stanza. Underhooks by Kara-France though led to a wall-walk for a quick stand-up by the Kiwi. Pitpitunge was lighter on his feet after the takedown, but as he went for another attempt, Kara-France was able to counter with a sprawl. The Kiwi was able to take advantage of a turtled-up Pitpitunge, landing at least ten punches that bloodied up the nose of the Filipino. Kara-France then went into the guard of the Filipino and was able to land at least 30 more short punches and elbows to close out the round.
All bloodied up, the Baguio-native still continued to slug it out in the third round. However, Kara-France stopped Pitpitunge on his tracks with a huge single leg takedown. A halfguard by Pitpitunge led to a takedown attempt by the Filipino, but this was answered by short elbows from Kara-France to stop the attempt. The Kiwi then found an opening as he blasted “the Slugger” with huge knees to the body before going into the stand-up once more. All dizzied up, Pitpitunge went for swings but terribly missed. In a highlight, the Kiwi landed a huge cartwheel kicks that knocked down the Filipino. Kara-France then reigned on an array of body shots and short punches to the head before two rights landed square on the prone body of Pitpitunge that called for the stoppage.
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“I knew my opponent was tough,” Kara-France said. “But I have an excellent team and my gameplan worked tonight.”
The loss drops Pitpitunge’s record to 8-5 with two straight losses.