Repost from ESPN TV5 | by Carlo Pamintuan
Once a year the boxing community gathers as one big family to celebrate the life of late great Gabriel “Flash” Elorde and also fete the champions who have made a name for themselves in the international scene.
For Mig and Bai Elorde, honoring their grandfather meant going in the ring and and engaging in the sport that made him a legend.
Bai was the first to see action in his return fight after being out of the ring for more than a year. He last fought back in December of 2017 where he lost via technical knockout to Isa Chanlev for the IBF and WBO international lightweight titles in Russia.
Against him was Indonesian fighter Rengga Rengga who had a record of eight wins against two defeats. Bai, who did not want to rush back in trimming down to his usual weight, decided to fight at a catchweight of 138 pounds.
In the first round, Bai focused on attacking the body of his opponent who gamely exchanged punches at the center of the ring. With Rengga lowering his defense to protect his body, Bai then focused his attacks up top as he connected with several lead lefts to the head.
The Indonesian fighter refused to answer the bell for the third round awarding a technical knockout victory to Bai and raising his record to 24 wins with 11 knockouts against two losses and a draw.
“I didn’t expect to finish the fight that quickly but I just listened to my cornermen,” Bai said after the match. “They told me to attack the body and that’s what I did.”
“I was really down after my loss in Russia so I had to step away from being in the ring but I really prepared for this fight because I needed to win. There’s always pressure in fighting in front of my family and friends but it goes away after the first exchange. I’m just glad I won the fight.”
In the main event, Mig faced off against Japan’s Shohei Kawashima. It was a tough battle for the Filipino youngster as he found it difficult to find the openings to hurt his challenger. After hurting his right hand during training a couple of weeks ago, he could not land his signature right straight as much in the fight. However, he found success in putting his punches together in quick combinations as Kawashima barged in to attack.
At the end of 12 rounds, all three judges scored the fight for Mig, 115-113, 117-111, 117-111, for another successful defense of his WBO Asia Pacific super bantamweight title. He improved his record to 28 wins with 15 knockouts against a single defeat.
“He really tested my stamina because he kept on attacking,” Mig said. “He was a hard worker so I’m happy it turned into a good fight.”
Mig is currently ranked fourth by the WBO in the super bantamweight category and maybe a couple of big wins away fro being able to challenge for the title.
In the undercard, Casey Morton scored a split decision victory against Japan’s Chie Higano to retain the WBO Asia Pacific Female Flyweight title.