Santisima, Cataraja Win Against Gritty Mexicans; Pagara Stops Krampah in 1

CEBU CITY – Jeo Santisima and KJ Cataraja each dominated their Mexican opponent Victory Uriel Lopez and Victor Hugo Reyes respectively but had to dig deep into their stamina in order to finish the fight standing as Albert Pagara had an easier time disposing George Krampah of Ghana in the first round on the Pinoy Pride 45 Triple WBO regional title fights Saturday night at the IEC Convention Center here.

Santisima who stopped 13 of his last 14 opponents mostly by short route, connected with powerful rights and left to the head and body of Lopez the whole night but the durable Mexican took most of them without even batting an eyelash. Early on, Lopez appeared to be headed to follow Santisima’s other knockout victims as he was recipient of Santisima’s thundering rights and lefts. Lopez however would not even flinch and just continue on throwing volume but not so powerful punches against the sometimes retreating Filipino.

Santisima with a hard-earned victory against Uriel Lopez.

In the middle rounds Santisima appeared to be running out of gas and there was a big question mark if he was to be able to weather the non-stop onslaught of Lopez. Although winning most rounds, there was always the possibility that the Masbate knockout artist could wilt under pressure. To Santisima’s credit he appeared to get his second wind in the championship rounds and went toe-to-toe in the last round to finish the fight strong.

Judges Edward Ligas and Arnel Passion had identical scores of 117-111 in Santisima’s favor while Judge Romar Embodo had it 118-110 also for Santisima who has now successfully defended his WBO Oriental super bantamweight title.

Santisima has now upped his record to 17 wins, 2 losses with 14 wins inside the distance while Lopez dropped to 13-7-1 with 6KOs.

KJ Cataraja clocks Hugo Reyes with a left.

Cataraja (9-0-0, 7KOs) showed too much class over Reyes by timing the Mexican with precise snapshots and counters to the head and body. Some of those punches had sent many of his previous opponents into the dreamland but Reyes, however, would not go away and showed tremendous chin to withstand Cataraja’s cracking rights and lefts. In the later rounds, Cataraja appeared to tire and but he still got the better of the exchanges against Reyes. In the 10th and final round, Cataraja went all out to try to knockout the gritty Mexican but, already leading by a wide margin on the scorecards, that decision seemed to be ill-advised as Cataraja almost gassed out toward the end of the fight.

Scores: Danrex Tapdasan, 99-91; Edwin Barrientos, 99-91 and Edward Ligas, 100-90 all for Cataraja who now captures the WBO Youth super flyweight title.

Meanwhile, Albert Pagara (31-1-0, 22KOs) successfully defended his WBO Inter-Continental belt by stopping Ghana’s George Krampah (14-4-0, 12KOs) at 2:55 in the very first round with a series of hard right to the head of Krampah. Although Krampah (14-4-0, 12KOs) complained that he was hit by a low blow as he was counted out by Referee Danrex Tapdasan, it was Pagara’s powerful rights to the head the finished him off.