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Tuñacao recalls day he avenged Pacquiao’s loss

By NICK GIONGCO

 

 

 

 

Former WBC flyweight champion Malcolm Tuñacao works as a garbage collector by day in Kobe, Japan, and a boxing trainer in the evening. 

Former WBC flyweight champion Malcolm Tuñacao works as a garbage collector by day in Kobe, Japan, and a boxing trainer in the evening.

Exactly 20 years ago today (May 19) in Udonthani, a Thai city near the Laos border, the biggest vendetta in Philippine boxing history took place when Malcolm Tuñacao beat up the guy who had mauled Manny Pacquiao eight months earlier.

Pitted against Medgoen 3K Battery for the World Boxing Council flyweight crown, Tuñacao was the immense underdog in his first crack at a world title.

To make his bid even more daunting, Tuñacao only had ten pro fights going into the clash with the Thai puncher who had stopped Pacquiao in three rounds the previous year.

“But I knew I could beat him because I felt his style was made for me,” said Tuñacao, now 42, from the Japanese seaport of Kobe where he works a boxing coach and a garbage collector during the day.

True enough, Tuñacao imposed his will on 3K Battery and fought as if he was a veteran of countless battles.

In the seventh round, the referee had no choice but to intervene as 3K Battery could no longer properly defend himself from Tuñacao’s bombardment.

It was Tuñacao’s finest moment as a prizefighter as his reign only lasted ten months after falling victim to, well, a vendetta as well at the hands of Thai Pongsaklek Wonjongkam.

Though he would get another stab at glory, Tuñacao, known during his heyday as Eagle Eye, was unable to become a champion again after moving to Japan.

By the time he decided to retire in 2004, the southpaw Tuñacao had logged a record of 35-3-3 with 20 KOs.

Tuñacao’s victory over Pacquiao’s conqueror ranks as one of the most

earth-shaking given his being an almost complete unknown and his utter lack of experience.

“Memorable talaga,” said Tuñacao, who likewise thanked this writer for covering his exploits during that incredibly humid afternoon at the Srimnang Outdoor Arena.

 

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