Apolinario scores 1st rd KO vs African foe, wins IBO flyweight title

Published July 30, 2022, 12:18 PM

by Manila Bulletin

Dave Apolinario scored an emphatic first round knockout win against South African Gideon Buthelezi to capture the vacant International Boxing Organization flyweight title Friday, July 29, at the International Convention Center in East London, South Africa.

(Photo from Sanman Boxing)

Apolinario unleashed a wild combination and connected a hefty left hook which sent Buthelezi down the canvas as he remained unbeaten in 17 straight matches and improved with 12 knockouts.

The 23-year-old Sanman Boxing talent gave the Philippines another world boxing champion since the recent defeats of Nonito Donaire and Mark Magsayo, who respectively held the World Boxing Council (WBC) bantamweight and featherweight titles.

Apolinario actually floored Buthelezi with 10 seconds remaining but the referee completed the count which formally sealed the deal for the Saranganu native boxer.

His win would likely boost his rankings futher among other world sanctioning bodies.

Apolonario, nicknamed “Dobermann,” was ranked No. 6, No. 10, and No. 15 in the by the World Boxing Association (WBA), International Boxing Federation, and the World Boxing Organization (WBO), respectively.

Buthelezi, 36, for his part, sustained a 23-6 record with five KOs.

Meanwhile, Ben Mananquil, Apolinario’s stablemate, wasn’t as fortunate as he absorbed a fifth-round stoppage loss to Phumelala Cafu in their junior bantamweight bout.

Mananquil fell to an 18-3-3 with five KOs while Cafu improved to six wins, all from KOs, along with three draws.