DAVAO CITY – No less than the grand patriarch of the country’s top boxing stable today believes it is time for Rey `Boom Boom’ Bautista to finally hang up his gloves.
Antonio Aldeguer, the top man of the ALA boxing stable, was at ringside on Saturday night when Bautista lost by split decision against Jose Ramirez of Mexico in their World Boxing Organization international featherweight title fight.
And judging from what he saw, the longtime boxing patron said the 26-year-old from Candijay, Bohol should consider retiring from the sport that has been very good to him.
“I think he should retire. Why punish the guy?” said Aldeguer shortly after the 12-round match at the University of Southeastern Philippines.
Bautista, once considered a bright prospect for a world title, was tentative for most of the fight. He was knocked down in the opening round and, save for a few shining moments including the eighth round when he also sent Ramirez to the canvas, wasn’t really the fighter he once was on this night.
Aldeguer said it would be better for one of the star fighters in his stable to walk away from boxing. He added he’ll talk things out with Bautista and his son Michael, president of ALA boxing promotions.
Bautista, however, insisted after the fight that he’s far from done, adding he plans to go up at 130 lbs.
Bautista’s plan to move up in weight lends weight to the claim of Ramirez’s trainer Miguel Martinez that the Filipino looked drained during the official weigh-in for the fight, and obviously had a hard time making the limit.
Boom Boom’s ring record is 34-3, with 25 KOs. Once a promising title contender, he was never the same again after losing by a first-round technical knockout to the hard-punching Daniel Ponce De Leon during their WBO super-bantamweight title match in 2007.