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Back in June 27th, 2009, Fernando Lumacad battled Mexican bruiser Jorge Arce for the vacant IBF international super flyweight title. A win would have been a definitive point in Lumacad’s career. Arce was (and still is) a huge name in the lower weights and beating him would have opened doors for the young General Santos City citizen.

Fate, however, proved to be cruel.

In just three rounds, Arce obliterated Lumacad. With a series of thundering right hands in the third inning, Arce bashed the Filipino fighter down to the mat. But it was more than a loss for Lumacad. His post-fight actions earned him harsh criticisms from boxing observers from all over the country.

Lumacad, clearly startstrucked with his conqueror, went as far as asking Arce for his robe as a souvenir. Fiipino boxing fans, casual and hardcore alike, saw this move by Lumacad as a disgrace, an embarrasment, not only to himself, but to Philippine boxing as a whole.

Fernando Lumacad (left) still has a long way to go to get rid of the shadows of his loss against Jorge Arce (right).

Two years and seven fights later, Lumacad now finds himself in perhaps the biggest stage of his career, where a convincing win will not get his career back on track, but give him the opportunity to stamp his name to the American market.

The reigning WBC Asia Council super flyweight champion will figure in the undercard of the Pacquiao-Marquez trilogy on November 12th, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada. No official opponent has been named, but the gravity of the situation is clear – redemption is a must.

“He is training hard for this fight at the Wild Card Gym,” said Jim Manangquil, Lumacad’s manager and head of the General Santos City-based SanMan Promotions. “Lumacad knows this is a big chance for him to shine and get bigger fights in the future.”

Sporting a record of 24-3-3 with 11 wins by stoppage, Lumacad’s record looks decent at any angles. But it must be noted that the Filipino’s losses were all major regional title bouts against opponents with topnotch caliber. Viewing Lumacad from such perspective, it is easy to dismiss the Filipino boxer, saying that most of his victories come from boxers that are nowhere near the top tier.

For Manangquil, Lumacad has the potential to become one of the top fighters from the country.

“He just needs a lot of push to get him going,” Manangquil told this writer. “But Lumacad already realized that this fight will determine the future direction of his career.”

“All he needs to do now is show the boxing world why he deserves to be fighting in the Pacquiao-Marquez undercard. And I believe he will,” Manangquil added.

The night he bowed to Arce  and requested for his robe two years ago, Lumacad lost the respect of many Filipino fight fans. But fate has provided an avenue for Lumacad to regain as much as he squandered as he takes to the ring again. This time, under the bright lights of Las Vegas and the watchful and scrutinizing eyes of a more demanding audience

The question is, will he take such opportunity to redeem himself or fail miserably.

We will soon find out.

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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.