Jhack Tepora looked so fresh that there was nary a trace that he had just come from a title-defense fight. But it was a total different story for Tepora’s stablemate Kenny Demecillo, who went home with his eyes almost shut and his face badly bruised.
The two Omega Boxing Gym stalwarts scored contrasting victories, taking different routes in defending their respective titles last Saturday in the well-attended “Who’s Next?”Pro Boxing Series at the Robinsons Galleria Cebu Atrium.
Tepora made short work of Bryan Capapangan by pulling off a first-round technical knockout win, while Demecillo survived a 12-round hellish duel to gut out a split decision victory over Bukidnon’s Rambo Lagos.
Tepora floored Capangpangan four times in the opening round of their main event duel in an easy victory that allowed him to keep his WBO Asia Pacific Youth Super Bantamweight title and stay unbeaten in 18 fights.
“I did not expect to knock him out especially that early. I myself was surprised,” said Tepora, who now has 13 knockout victories.
With just seconds gone by in the first round, Tepora sent Capangpangan to the canvas with a right cross. Tepora knew that was the start of the ending.
“I really thought I had the win in the bag when I hit with that right cross. I hurt my hand with that punch,” said Tepora
Capangpangan (10W-3L-1D-7KOs) survived the first knockdown; but Tepora pressed on the attack, flooring him later again with a one-two combo to the head.
Capangpangan stood up again only to fall again when Tepora tagged him with a left straight. Seemingly groggy, Capangpangan continued to fight, but Tepora bombarded him with solid combinations and fell for the fourth time.
Referee Tony Pesons prevented Capangpangan from absorbing more punishment and called a halt to the fight in the 2:34 mark.
Tepora had trouble making the weight and admitted the fight taught him valuable lessons.
“That should not happen again. There’s no problem when it comes to training. I trained hard for this fight, but I didn’t have proper diet. A week before the fight, I had no control with my diet, and I know it was wrong,” said Tepora.
While Tepora hardly broke a sweat in his victory, Demecillo toiled hard to keep his WBF Asia Pacific Bantamweight belt.
Demecillo and Lagos figured in a 10-round brawl, trading heavy blows that sent the crowd on the edge of their seats.
Judges Edwin Barrientos and Arnie Najera both saw the bout at 96-94 for Demecillo while William Mañus had it 96-94 for Lagos.
The crowd booed when Demecillo (11W-3L-2D-7KOs) was declared winner, while Lagos (8W-1L-3D-5KOs) received a thunderous applause as he exited the ring .
Demecillo kept coming forward, but Lagos displayed solid counter-punching skills in a torrid close-quarter combat.
There were times when Demecillo was about to go down but would answer with his own solid shots that shook Lagos.
Lagos landed several shots to the head while Demecillo went for the body shots most of the time.
“Way uso ang jabs ani nila (These two boxers don’t use jabs),” said one spectator.
Halfway through the fight, blood was already dripping from Demecillo’s face. He sustained cuts above his eyes, and his nose was bloodied. Lagos also sustained a cut under his left eye.
Meanwhile, another Omega Gym stalwart, Christian Araneta, improved to 12W-0L-0D, 10KOs with a first-round stoppage of Charlie Cabilla (14W-19L-4D, 2KOs).
Former Olympian Mark Anthony Barriga came up with a successful professional debut after he scored a unanimous decision win over Melvin Manangquil (1W-2L-2D, 1KO).
In other fights, Jimboy Haya (9W-2L-2D, 6KOs) scored a third-round TKO win over Fabio Marfa (25W-31L-4D, 12KOs); Feljun Taneo (6W-1L-0D, 3KOs) won by UD over Lenmar Prescillas (2W-2L-0L, 1KO); Tomjune Mangubat (5W-0-0L, 5KOs) chalked a third-round knockout win over Arnel Acebuque (4W-6L-0D, 4KOs); Mark Vicelles (3W-0L-0D, 2KOs) pocketed a UD win over Jesrel Corabal (0W-2L-0D); while debuting Marjun Piencenvas posted a first KO win over Rolien Getalada.