In the 34 professional boxing bouts that the new International Boxing Organization (IBO) Junior Bantamweight Champion Edrin “The Sting” Dapudong has figured in, there is one fight which keeps on coming back in his mind.
This is the fight with Mexican Hernan “Tyson” Marquez for the World Boxing Association (WBA) flyweight title in his hometown Hermosillo, Mexico in July 2011.
It was an exciting fight until the fateful third round when in the furious exchange, Marquez got the better of the North Cotabato boxer and scored a knockdown with a left to the forehead of Dapudong.
I was in that fight and I saw Dapudong fell to the canvas for the first time in his career. But I also saw that while he was stunned, Dapudong was not badly hurt as he stood up even before Referee Raul Caiz Jr. could count “4.”
What stunned the Filipino contingent was when Caiz Jr. suddenly waved off the fight even when Dapudong had already raised his gloves and nodded his head to signal he was ready to continue the fight.
Even former world champion Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. who was doing the television commentary at ringside, thought that it was a premature stoppage of what could have been a slambang of a boxing contest.
Reviewing the fight, however, I felt that Dapudong committed a big mistake by not looking directly at the eyes of the referee, which is actually the character of this shy boy from Barangay Pag-asa, M’lang, North Cotabato.
“Perhaps that was my mistake,” Dapudong admitted later but added that since he already raised his gloves and nodded his head he walked sideways to prepare himself for the onslaught of the Mexican champion.
And so the fight against Tyson Marquez, who was knocked out by two Filipino fighters—Nonito Donaire, Jr. and Brian Viloria—appears on Dapudong’s professional record as his only knockout loss in his boxing career.
“If there is any fight I am dreaming of right now, it is a return bout with Marquez,” said Dapudong who is set to defend his IBO 115-lb. title before the end of the year.
Although Dapudong is obligated by contract to defend his title in South Africa thrice because of the fight options signed with Golden Gloves Promotions of South Africa, there is no news yet as to who Promoter Rodney Berman would pick to challenge the newest Filipino champion.
“I wish I had a choice so I could get the Marquez fight behind me,” Dapudong said.
His title fight against South African Gideon Buthelezi last June 15 was actually also a rematch following his controversial split decision loss last Nov. 10 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
The loss to Buthelezi in their first fight was his fifth professional setback.
“I want to go back to the fights I lost and I have already avenged myself against Buthelezi. Maybe, next time I will be given the chance to meet Marquez again and perhaps even Wilbert Uicab,” Dapudong said.
Uicab defeated Dapudong in 12 rounds in a fight in Cancun, Mexico in 2010 grabbing Edrin’s World Boxing Council (WBC) Silver Flyweight title which he won with a sensational first round knockout of another Mexican, Jesus Jimenez, in Tepic, Mexico in June of 2010.
Dapudong’s two other losses came early on in his career—a decision loss to Rommel Bongon when he was fighting six rounds and another decision loss to former world champion Muhammad Rachman of Indonesia when they fought in Jakarta.
Both are already out of boxing and the only fighters he has the chance of meeting again in a rematch would be Marquez and Uicab.
“Fighting Marquez again is just a wish but I am willing to go up against anybody whom the promoter will pick to challenge me in my first title defense,” said the 27-year-old Dapudong who holds the distinction of being the first world champion from North Cotabato.