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Fight of the Year

GENERAL SANTOS CITY—Young fighter Daryl Basadre had only one thing in mind when he entered the ring Saturday night at the Gaisano Mall here.

Claiming that his initial match opposite Cebu’s Marco Demecillo was stopped prematurely, Basadre was bent on proving his point but in a thorough manner.

Their first bout last June ended in the second round when a seemingly in shape Basadre was dropped in the second round of their 12-round match for the vacant WBA Oceania bantamweight crown.

“I was still OK and I was ready to retaliate but to my surprise the referee stopped the fight. I learned a lesson though and that is to use the ring to my advantage. I got caught because I was careless and that I have to admit,” said Basadre a day after their awaited rematch.

In front of a lively hometown crowd, Basadre started out well by darting in and out, successfully avoiding Demecillo’s incessant attacks.

Round one was in the bag for Basadre as well as the second when the Cagayan De Oro native boxer, who fights under Sanman Promotions based in General Santos City, was able to drop Demecillo middle of the round.

Sensing that Demecillo was ready to be taken out, Basadre went out of his comfort zone and entered Demecillo’s own by fighting toe-to-toe.

While Basadre took the second canto 10-8, it was obvious that Demecillo was able to jumpstart his night when he rocked the hometown boy with a barrage of punches towards the end of that action-filled round.

“He threw everything in that round he forgot about the fight plan. He was already a spent force entering the third round,” said Sanman’s Jean Claude Manangquil.

But Basadre was not about to let his supporters and benefactors down as he tried to ward off Demecillo’s assault and at the same time fight the urge of going into a war.

Basadre, who entered the match with an outstanding record of 14-2-1 with 10 stoppages, backpedalled as planned but for the most part could not resist the temptation of slugging it out.

By the seventh round, Basadre was already like a walking zombie after being tagged by blows that were awkwardly thrown but were likewise connecting.

Demecillo was just a punch away from scoring a dramatic win, but unfortunately slipped as he was set to unleash a coup de grace in the final seconds of the 7th frame.

Basadre survived the round then fought instinctively and tried to salvage whatever energy was left that night.

A single punch to the face dropped Basadre who then stood up at the count of eight on wobbly legs, forcing the referee to finally call a halt to the bout.

Basadre was very much aware of whatever was being done to him after the fight, but was totally exhausted he could not walk on his own.

“The referee should have stopped the fight by the seventh round because it was too obvious Basadre was already badly hurt,” quipped Freeman Sports Editor Manny Villaruel who was at ringside.

 Basadre was later brought to the hospital where a CT Scan was later done but as of yesterday it was established that no serious damage happened on the brave boxer.

Despite the loss, Basadre felt fulfilled knowing that those who witnessed his match against Demecillo witnessed one of the most thrilling matches ever held in the country.

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