BoomBoom deserves a maturity test
It was not the kind of result Bautista had work hard for.
Going by his postfight testimonial, Bautista had all but killed himself training for the rematch against Heriberto Ruiz.
This same battle-scarred Mexican decked, bloodied and beat Bautista in Las Vegas in 2008.
In short, Boom Boom wanted a victory and revenge as well.
He was indeed declared winner by technical decision after the ring physician ordered a halt to the 12-round bout in the seventh.
It’s odd, however, that Bautista, busted and bloodied, appeared every inch more like the real loser.
A sore loser, if you please.
The moment he got the chance, he made a lengthy declamation of his displeasure from center ring.
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Bautista said he came to fight to the finish.
Unfortunately, the bout had to be halted due to the deep, dangerous cuts he incurred from headbutts.
Bautista blamed Ruiz, who also suffered head wounds, for resorting to foul tactics.
“He’s a dirty fighter. It was the same tactic he used in our first bout,” Bautista protested. “I was also cut during that match.”
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Bautista was right.
Ruiz may have indeed resorted to headbutting.
But, based on the televised replay of the abbreviated bout, Ruiz was not solely to blame.
There was, in fact, one instance when Boom Boom clearly initiated the dirty banging of brows.
OK, it’s all in the game.
But, other than victory and revenge, there was a third goal Boom Boom had set out for last Saturday.
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The one-time knockout sensation wanted to show everybody he’s back and ready for the big time.
There were mixed reviews.
Veteran boxing writer Abac Cordero claimed the crowd “had expected a better performance from Bautista who held his punches when he should have thrown them.”
Michael Aldeguer, Bautista’s main handler, said his fighter wanted to win big and give the crowd a good fight.”
* * *
Well, there’s no denying Boom Boom has improved his punching.
He punches more from inside, unlike before when he used to slam from the shoulder.
He’s clearly on the road to a solid, more focused spear-like punching, obviously now more aware of proper rhythm and breathing.
What has remained unclear, of course, is his ability to mount a more mature defense.
He kept getting banged.
He also got hit silly with easy punches, which could have been avoided with better head movement.
* * *
It’s like this. Boom Boom should be back inside the ring as soon as that gaping head wound heals.
But he should forget about a third match with Ruiz, who may no longer be a worthy measure of how much he has improved.
Bautista needs a more pertinent foe that should be able to test his defensive maturity.
Sorry to say this, but if Bautista insists on a third clash with Ruiz, both must be made to use head gears.
On Saturday, Boom Boom, other than reveal the gifts of a born declaimer, also showed the need to develop into a wise head-banger.
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