MACASANDIG, Cagayan de Oro City—Promising General Santos City teener Rhohan de la Peña knocked out his rival, Jeesly Batiancila of Polomolok in one of the day’s sensational fights last Saturday at the Macasandig gym here.
A right hook to the jaw saw Batiancila reeling down on the floor towards the end of the first round of the junior boys’ flyweight division (50 kg) action of the 2018 Philippine Sports Commission-Pacquiao Amateur Boxing Championship’s Mindanao semifinals.
Enduring the scorching afternoon weather, De la Peña earned his place in the Mindanao finals tentatively set for May 5 in Davao City, along with 20 others.
The 16-year-old De la Peña felt he was a goner after he began retreating from his rival’s attacks.
“Ako ang dehado. Kasi ako ang umaatras at siya, sugod nang sugod. Kaya ang ginawa ko, nilakasan ko na lang ang isa kong suntok,” said De la Peña.
The 10th grader from Dadiangas North High School reached the 50kg finals with Cagayan de Oro’s John Palivinio, who prevailed over Digos bet Jester Dapidran in 1:33 of the third round via a referee stopped contest.
Eight homegrown talents from Cagayan de Oro City joined De la Peña in advancing to the finals.
Jessa Caranagan scored a win on points’ verdict over Malungon fighter Chein Sevelleno in the junior boys’ pinweight side, while Peter John Payla (44-46 kg) beat Gensan’s Gabriel de la Pena via a split decision and Mark Leter Durens got past Davao’s Reymond Albupera via RSC-injury in 52 seconds of the second round.
Also in the Mindanao finals are Kim Bryan Cabrillos (junior boys’ light bantamweight), Dave Bryan Caspe (junior boys’ bantamweight) and Elaide Pamisa (youth girls’ light flyweight), John Ignatius Macas (youth boys’ flyweight) and John Paul Panuayan (youth boys’ lightweight).
Alliances of Boxing Association of the Philippines tournament director Rogelio Fortaleza said all medallists in Cagayan de Oro leg made it to the national finals of the Mindanao series.