BOXING: RODRIGO DOWNS GORRES WITH 9TH ROUND TKO

FLYWEIGHT CHAMP EDGAR RODRIGOMakati City, June 3, 2003 -- Defying the odds, Edgar 
Rodrigo scored a ninth round technical knockout win 
over highly-touted Z Gorres to capture the 
Philippine flyweight crown Sunday at the Makati Coliseum.

Rodrigo, a 22-year-old southpaw, spoiled what was supposed 
to be Gorres' coming out party in improving his record to 
10 wins, five by knockout, against three draws and four losses.

Gorres was scheduled to fly to Los Angeles, California, 
middle of this month for a high-profile training under boxing 
guru Freddie Roach of the famed Wild Card Gym. Instead, he 
is now bound for his native Cebu to regain his confidence.

Early in the fight, Gorres showed good lateral moves and decent left-right 
combinations to overcome Rodrigo's wild left cross and body shots.

By the second round, however, Rodrigo's punches were finding their mark 
while Gorres continued to be on the defensive end.

Gorres, 20, connected with some good left-right combinations in rounds 
three to five. But he wasn't prepared for what was to come in the sixth.

With over a minute gone in round six, a stunning left cross from the 
shorter but sturdier Rodrigo caught Gorres flush on the chin, sending the 
Cebuano champion down.

Gorres got up at the count of seven but Rodrigo, sensing blood, applied 
more pressure and connected with stinging left hooks to the face and 
combinations to the champion's body.

Adopting a "nothing to lose, everything to gain" strategy, Rodrigo again 
floored Gorres two more times in the eighth round. By the 9th round, 
Rodrigo continued to pummel a visibly wobbly Gorres, forcing international 
referee Ferdinand Estrella to stop the fight and declare a TKO win for 
Rodrigo with a minute left in the round.

"It was a good fight but tonight was not our boy's night," said Gorres' 
manager, former PBA commissioner Rudy Salud.

Gorres' trainer, former two-time world title challenger Ala Villamor, 
believes the glittering attention his ward had been getting lately might 
have caused some pressure that affected his boxer's performance.

The previously undefeated Gorres (12-1, 7 KOs) has been touted as the 
country's future world champion whose fighting style is similar to former 
WBC champion Gerry Peņalosa.

Gorres was also scheduled to appear in a six-round fight in the undercard 
of the IBF title defense of Manny Pacquiao against Emmanuel Lucero on July 
27 in Los Angeles.

With the TKO loss, Gorres' plans will definitely be put on hold since he is 
mandated to take a 45-day rest period before plunging back into action.

Salud said he will confer with Gorres' discoverer, Tony Aldeguer, and look 
at the possibility of having the Cebuano boxer fight in Cebu to rebuild his 
confidence.

Salud added he still believes in Gorres and expects his prized ward to 
learn a lot from his devastating loss. (Malaya)

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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