It isn’t every day that we get to experience a boxing event with foreign fighters involved, let alone a free one with 5 fighters from Australia and New Zealand defending their belts against our local boxers. Last Saturday at the Robinson’s Place fountain area, we witnessed just that with UnCaged 2.0: Global Pan Asia Championships.
The second event organized by The Cage Boxing and Martial Arts Camp in conjunction with the Global Amateur Boxing Association of Australia, UnCaged 2.0 is a showcase of local boxing talent that also doubles as a fundraiser to help send the local boxers to Australia for the rematch should they win against their foreign foes. The event presented an overwhelming 15 fights in one afternoon and the crowd seemed to enjoy every moment of it.
The main card had 5 championship fights pitting local challengers against the Global Pan Asia champions from Australia and New Zealand. 10 bouts with fighters from different boxing gyms in the province filled the undercard. Spotted in the undercard were some familiar faces, some of whom also competed during the Juan Fight League MMA event last December as well those featured in our article on Ilonggo boxers.
Before the main event, we were introduced to the fighters who were competing for the 5 championships. I was also treated to something that I thought I would never see live—the Haka War Dance that New Zealanders perform before most sporting events—scratch that one off my bucket list.
The foreign guests appeared to outsize their local counterparts and the Ilonggo contingent look like they had their work cut out for them. But the locals proved me wrong and showed a lot of grit. Debuting Claudette Templora, who participated in the only female bout of the event, took on the bigger and more experienced Tyroszha’e Toby. Despite the odds being stacked against her, Templora still came to fight. She showed a lot of heart and was the aggressor the entire bout. But the younger Toby just proved too much for Templora as she was able to defeat the Ilongga fighter with much ease.
Following the Templora-Toby bout was the matchup between the young Harry Camacho and Marco Kent for the light paperweight division. The smaller Camacho showed a lot of good technical boxing en route to bringing home the first crown for the local contingent.
Our own Manny Pacquiao doppleganger, Marvin “Pacman” Gumban, used his so-called “veteran moves” to defeat his younger opponent, Andre Nikita, and bagged the light middleweight title.
Justin Victoriano and Fritz John Estrella were able to get decision victories over their respective opponents, Bryce Schafer and Dee-Vance Gurnick, to grab the flyweight and lightweight belts from their foreign counterparts to round off the main card.
All in all, the event was able to provide an avenue for Ilonggos to ply their wares in the field of boxing. And the 4 title belts they bagged are proof that the Ilonggo side was no slouch. If the rematch pushes through in Australia, I hope the Ilonggos prove successful and bring home the titles.
(Photos by Xtian Evren “VanS3n” Lozañes)