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‘Doberman’ eyes title fight in May


TOKYO, Japan — JC Mananquil didn’t mince any words when asked to grade the recent performance of world-rated flyweight Dave “Doberman” Apolinario.

“It would have been a perfect fight if only he didn’t get careless,” Mananquil told Daily Tribune on Saturday following Apolinario’s sensational fourth-round knockout victory over Tanes Ongjunta of Thailand at the Korakuen Hall.

In getting the job done, Apolinario had to pick himself up from a third-round knockdown before flooring Ongjunta twice in the next round en route to the stoppage win.

Mananquil said that while Apolinario was impressive, the 25-year-old southpaw has to address a delicate facet of his game.

“You can’t afford to be careless in a world title fight because if you do, you’ll lose,” Mananquil said.

Apolinario had pinned Ongjunta on the ropes and was preparing to unload some bombs when the Thai caught him with a counter right to the kisser.

The Filipino puncher later said that he wasn’t hurt at all but those around him weren’t buying that.

Slighted by the knockdown that took place with his Japanese promoter Hideyuki Ohashi at ringside, Apolinario came back roaring in the fourth, sending Ongjunta down with a left counter.

Ongjunta managed to get up but moments later, an Apolinario right uppercut decked Ongjunta as if he had been whacked by a baseball bat.

He gallantly beat the count but the referee nonetheless stopped the fight as Ongjunta looked shaken.

The win raised Apolinario’s record to 20-0 with 14 knockouts and it earned him a shot at the world crown sometime in May.

“We will be discussing this matter with Ohashi Promotions,” Mananquil said.

Apolinario’s target is Yuri Akui, who holds the World Boxing Association strap, and the International Boxing Federation title that could soon be vacated by Jesse Rodriguez of the United States.

“Dave’s going to be back in the gym in a week’s time after I give him a short break,” Mananquil said.

With a bigger fight down the road, Apolinario has to address Mananquil’s concern in the gym because not doing so could send his title aspirations down the drain.

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