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The ruling of the International Boxing Federation on accidental fouls states that:

“ If an  accidental  foul  causes  an  injury  severe  for  the  referee  to  stop  the  bout immediately after  four (4 ) rounds  have  occurred,  the  bout  will  result  in  a TECHNICAL  DECISION,  awarded  to  the boxer  who  is ahead on  the scorecards  at  the  time  the  bout  is  stopped.”

(Click here to see IBF Championship Rules)

After seven action-packed rounds, Rey “Boom Boom” Bautista finally got even with his former conqueror, Heriberto “Cuate” Ruiz of Mexico. However, victory is bittersweet for the young Filipino prizefighter as the manner of his victory did not suit well with him, his team, and most of the boxing audience.

“I will fight him again if given the opportunity,” Bautista said after the fight.

Bittersweet victory for Bautista. Is a trilogy in the works?

Bautista’s chief trainer Edmund Villamor told this writer that they won the fight fair and square. VIllamor also welcomed the idea of a trilogy.

“We are well ahead on points. I understand why they (Team Ruiz) are upset but rules apply and we won the match,” Villamor said. “For sure, I would love to have Bautista fight Ruiz for the third time.”

A profusely bleeding Bautista was awarded with the win via technical decision. The ringside physician recommended to the referee, lawyer Danrex Tapdasan, to call a halt to the bout at the last minute of the 7th round due to the severity of Bautista’s cuts, primarily the huge gash on his left temple.

Bautista was ahead in all scorecards at the time of the stoppage. This writer scored the bout 5 to 2 rounds in favor of Bautista. Ruiz clearly won the first two rounds with his boxing skills but Bautista managed to land his power shots from the third round, which significantly shifted the tide to the Filipino’s favor.

Visibly hurt but by no means a dud, Ruiz threw everything except the kitchen sink. Ruiz was a very effective boxer in the first two stanzas, outboxing Bautista, making the Filipino lunge and extend and miss and have Bautista pay for it with solid hooks to the body and head.

Ruiz capitalized heavily on his reach advantage and Bautista was seemingly frustrated with the tactic. There are numerous instances where Bautista got himself clobbered every time he rushed in and missed his target. However, solid power shots from Bautista found their mark in the 3rd round and clearly got Ruiz on the defensive.

The succeeding rounds found both fighters going at it, exchanging punch per punch but Bautista getting the better of the trade. Headbutts and elbowing was also a fixture during fight night. In one instance, Ruiz obviously landed a low blow. Bautista, on his end, shoved Ruiz back with his elbow on Ruiz’s throat numerous times.

This writer talked to several fans who watched the fight live and most of them are clearly disappointed with Bautista’s win. While some offered their congratulations, majority of them declared that they saw no improvement with Bautista’s defense.

Asked if they would want a trilogy between Bautista and Ruiz, most of the fans said they  would want to watch both men beat each other for the third time.

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Kenneth P. Ragpala is an award-winning sports blogger who has been covering the sport of boxing since 2008. His works have appeared in local newspapers in his home city in Cagayan de Oro and in several online publications abroad. Ragpala has written for several boxing websites, namely Fight Hype, 8 Count News, and Bleacher Report.