Give credit to Dave “Dobermann” Apolinario for putting an exclamation point to the string of losses suffered by Filipino fighters stretching back to Manny Pacquiao’s upset defeat to Yordenis Ugas almost a year ago.
You see, Apolinario scored a vicious first-round knockout of Gideon Buthelezi of South Africa over the weekend in East London, South Africa.
The victory gave Apolinario a world boxing crown.
But it wasn’t from the boxing body whose headquarters is in Mexico City (World Boxing Council).
It wasn’t from Puerto Rico (World Boxing Organization) either.
Nope, it’s not from Panama (World Boxing Association), too.
And certainly not from New Jersey (International Boxing Federation).
It’s from Coral Gables, Florida, just outside Miami.
And it’s from the International Boxing Organization (IBO).
Mind you, while the IBO nowadays hardly boasts of a marquee name, its title was once worn by Lennox Lewis, Roy Jones Jr., Tyson Fury, Floyd Mayweather Jr. and, yes, Pacquiao.
Pacquiao briefly held the IBO title after he flattened Ricky Hatton in May 2009 in Las Vegas.
So, if the boxing world recognized Pacquiao’s short reign as IBO 140-lb king many moons ago, then it is just fair that Apolinario’s latest conquest should be given a second-look as well.
It’s easier said than done, though.
Time was different at that time, according to ringsiders.
Back then, Hatton was considered as the boss of the 140-pounders and it didn’t matter if he had been tagging along the IBO strap.
What was important then was Hatton was the man to beat at 140.
Anyway, you gotta praise Apolinario for his recent job.
Given the jinx on Filipino fighters lately, his quickie of Buthelezi was something different.
After Pacquiao got ambushed by Ugas in Sin City, all five Filipino world champions lost their belts.
First to go was Jerwin Ancajas, the long-reigning super-fly titlist who ran into an Argentine hammer-thrower in Fernando Martinez in February.
Next came the misfortune that struck John Riel Casimero, whose bantam belt was taken away by the WBO for committing back-to-back pre-weigh in infractions.
Nonito Donaire then got shellacked in Japan by Naoya Inoue in June and he was followed by Rene Cuarto’s bad luck in Mexico City.
Mark Magsayo was favored to end the series of setbacks but suffered the same fate as the four others when he fought Rey Vargas at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas, in July.
Apolinario is arriving in the country from the Black Continent at noon today.
He deserves not just a pat on the back.
Apolinario deserves more than that.