Closes in on world title crack after punishing Venezuelan

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MANILA, Philippines — Unbeaten Genesis Servania boosted his bid for a world title crack with a 12th-round stoppage of Venezuelan veteran Alexander Muñoz late Saturday at Solaire Resort & Casino in Paranaque City.

A crackling right cross put Muñoz down for the third time and though the former two-time world champion managed to beat the count, referee Danrex Tandasan found him unfit to continue and waived off the bout at 2:22 mark of the final round.

Servania, who also decked Muñoz in the second round with rights to the body and head and in the ninth with a left to the midsection, extended his winning streak to 24 bouts, spiked by 10 knockouts, to underscore his readiness to contend for a world crown.

Though outgunned for the most part, the 35-year-old Muñoz did provide Servania, 22, quality opposition in their duel for the World Boxing Organization intercontinental junior featherweight championship—the main event of Pinoy Pride XXIV.

Muñoz, a power hitter in his prime with 28 knockouts in a 36-win, 6-loss record, opened up a cut over Servania’s left eyelid in the sixth round, which oozed blood in the eighth following an accidental headbutt.

But Servania pressed the attack while Muñoz backpedalled with his legs starting to give way in the last two rounds.

ALA Promotions president Michael Aldeguer said a showdown with either Fernando Montiel or Vic Darchinyan, both former three-division world champions, is being planned for Servania.

ALA Promotions vice president Dennis Cañete said that Servania, who admitted that cramps slowed him down in some rounds, will return to the ring either in June in Dubai or in the United States in September.

Rising star Albert Pagara was even more impressive in a one-round demolition of Indonesian Isack Junior in the chief support of the fight card jointly undertaken by ABS-CBN Sports and ALA Promotions.

Pagara, only 19, caught Junior with a left hook followed by a right straight to the rib cage to force the Indonesian to quit 2:41 into the 122-pound bout.

Pagara improved to 19-0 with 13 knockouts while Junior dropped to 22-5-2 with 8 KOs.

While Servania and Pagara lived up to expectations, highly touted Arthur Villanueva proved a disappointment.

Villanueva struggled throughout against substitute opponent Fernando Aguilar of Mexico in their 10-round 115 lb tussle before scoring a close unanimous decision (94-93, 95-92-96-91) that raised his record to 25-0, 14 by KOs. Aguilar, who arrived only last Thursday, fell to 9-7, 1 KO.

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