Philippines has new world boxing champ

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Sunday, June 16, 2013

DAVAO CITY -- Edrin Dapudong finally became the first world boxing champion from North Cotabato after stopping South Africa’s Gideon Buthelezi in the first round to grab the International Boxing Organization junior bantamweight title at the Emperor’s Palace in Johannesburg, South Africa Sunday morning (Manila Time).

Dapudong, 27, avenged his controversial split decision loss in his first meeting with Buthelezi last November 2012, by landing a left hook to the jaw in two minutes 29 seconds into the opening round that stunned and silenced the Buthelezi supporters.

American referee Robert Byrd immediately called it over and out as Buthelezi’s handlers rushed to his aid. Dapudong, a native of M’lang, North Cotabato, reportedly was emotional after realizing he had won the title this time around.

His manager, former North Cotabato governor Manny Pinol, said before the fight that the only way to win in South Africa, known for its hometown decisions, was to knock an opponent out and he had made this clear to Dapudong.

It was Dapudong’s 28th win and 17th KO against 5 loses, while Buthezi suffered only his third defeat against 13 victories.

Pinol said Dapudong's victory was a vindication of his questionable defeat in the first meeting.

“Dapudong, is the dream catcher for having snared the dream that we have chased all of these years,” Pinol said.

“He (Dapudong) will definitely serve as an inspiration to the other boys in the Braveheart Boxing Club and guide his teammates in catching their own dreams,” Pinol added. (PNA)

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