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Randy Petalcorin was almost perfect in his form when he fought Michael Rodriguez for the PABA light flyweight championship. On the cards, Petalcorin owned his opponent. Add to the equation a knockdown in the 7th round, courtesy of a right hook, it looked like Petalcorin already had the fight in bag. But a sudden spur by Rodriguez in the 8th caught Petalcorin and had him reeling on the ropes and slid down to the canvas. While Petalcorin was down, Rodriguez launched a right hand and hit his opponent on the left side of the head.

Petalcorin appeared to be dazed and hurt. Peter Maniatis, Petalcorin’s manager, was visibly upset and was shouting some words to the referee. An oxygen tank was even brought inside the ring to aid a supposedly badly hurt Petalcorin. However, replays of the illegal blow have the people believing Petalcorin was acting and was looking for an easy win.

Regardless, Petalcorin was awarded the victory by disqualification.


Randy Petalcorin (center) by Dexter "Wangyu" Tan of SanMan Promotions and Peter Maniatis (right)

In the wake of the aftermath of the Randy Petalcorin-Michael Rodriguez PABA light flyweight championship, award-winning and highly respected veteran referee Silvestre Abainza talked to Kenneth Ragpala of Filipino Boxing Journal and attempted to clear the air on what transpired last Saturday night.

In a phone conversation with this writer, Abainza detailed what he saw last night, saying he believes he made the right call to halt the fight and give the belt to Petalcorin.

It was really intentional. Petalcorin got tagged with strong punches from Rodriguez but he did not go down because of a punch.

Rodriguez really went to hit Petalcorin while he was down. Boxers are not allowed to do that. Boxers intend to hurt their opponents but not while they were down. Rodriguez saw Petalcorin was already in the canvas and was in no position to defend himself but Rodriguez really intended to hurt him. It was intentional.

The action merited disqualification. Petalcorin is the clear winner.”

On March 27, 2010, then undefeated middleweight champion Arthur Abraham received his first career loss after being disqualified for hitting opponent Andre Direll while the latter was down in the canvas in their Super Six super middleweight tournament. The shot appeared to be a clip rather than a power punch and lacked the pop to put Direll down in agony.

Direll received huge amounts of criticism for his “acting job”.

Petalcorin, as confirmed by Peter Maniatis, is now ranked #15 by the World Boxing Association (WBA) and is set to defend his title in September against an unnamed Thai opponent.

Photo credits: PhilBoxing.com

This writer would like to say “Happy Birthday!” to Gerry “Fearless” Penalosa!



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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.