Filipino pugilist Michael Farenas earns a controversial 2nd round TKO over Hector Velasquez

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MANILA, Philippines –

Filipino fighter Michael Farenas earned a controversial second round technical knockout (TKO) win over ex-Manny Pacquiao victim Hector Velazquez of Mexico on Friday in the Filoil Flying V Arena in San Juan City.

Referee Bruce McTavish stopped the bout with just 1:14 left in the second round after the two fighters clashed heads while exchanging punches, leading to a nasty cut within the right eye of Velazquez.

While there was an accidental head butt, McTavish said he was out of position to rule the verdict and let the ringside judges made the decision. 

However, two of the three judges ruled the cut to be the product of a punch
that enabled Farenas to wrest the WBC Asia Continental junior lightweight title.

“Hindi rin ako sigurado saan galing yung sugat niya kasi may tumamang suntok at may tumama ring head butt,” Farenas said after the fight.

“Beterano rin kasi yung Velazquez, kaya posibleng pagkatapos nung suntok, dinikit niya talaga yung ulo niya para magmukhang head butt.”

Farenas did land some punches before the cut was opened. However, the video replay showed that the cut did not appear until after the two clashed heads. 

Michael Farenas improved to 38-4-4 with 30 knockouts.

Hector Velazquez (56-21-3, 38 KOs) initially came in five pounds overweight heading into the weigh in yesterday, and had to desperately tire himself just to make the 130-pound featherweight limit.

Without much action yet, the disappointed Tijuana, Baja California journeyman Velasquez dropped his 21st bout.

“I don’t know about that. That is bullshit,” said Velazquez’s handler Mike Lopez who was visibly angered by the decision.

Next Opponent

Even if his performance wasn’t as good as he wanted it to be, Farenas still think he’s already primed for another world title shot. 

Farenas fall short in his two bids to win the WBA super featherweight title against Takashi Uchiyama and Yuriorkis Gamboa before.

But now Farenas is setting his sights on IBF champion Arenis Mendez of the Dominican Republic.

“Fighter rin kasi yung Mendez kaya kung maglalaban kami, bakbakan talaga,” Farenas said. “Sana makalaban na rin ako para sa world title ulit kasi hindi na rin ako bumabata.”

Penalosa survives tough foe

In the supporting main bout, Filipino featherweight prospect Dave Peñalosa (8-0, 5 KOs) faced the hardest test in his young career, going head-to-head with Mexican journeyman Alem Robles (6-5-2, 2 KOs).The 23-year-old Penalosa played catch up for almost the entire bout but pulled off a surprising 58-56, 58-56, 59-56 unanimous decision win to extend his unbeaten run to 8-0.

Penalosa never got his rhythm going and got tagged by a heavy volume of punches unloaded by Robles. 

But Penalosa had to survive a scare in the fourth round as it appeared that Robles had him at the verge of defeat.

“Nasaktan talaga ako nung right straight niya kaya napaurong ako ng konti,” Penalosa said. “Pero alam ko namang kaya ko yung suntok niya kaya di naman ako bumagsak.”

The southpaw Penalosa landed big shots to the body but not enough to wear down Robles, who hit the Filipino with combinations to the head.

“Matangkad kasi siya kaya target ko talaga yung body niya nung umpisa,” Penalosa explained. “Pero nung bumaba na yung depensa niya, dun ko na siya tinamaan sa ulo.”

With Penalosa desperate to earn a knockout, he punished Robles with a barrage of punches in the final round of their 6-round encounter. Robles survived the attack, but still failed to impress the judges in the end.

— with reports from

Ed Umbao

Founder of | co-Founder of

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