Laurente: Fast and furious

It took former amateur standout Criztian Pitt Laurente only 45 seconds to score his seventh knockout win in 11 fights Sunday night at the packed Mandaluyong City College gymnasium.

Pitted against veteran JR Magboo during the first show of Blow-by-Blow, the southpaw Laurente got the job done after landing a lightning-fast lead left straight-right hook combo.

Magboo, who had previously fought in the United Arab Emirates, Thailand, China and Malaysia, crashed to the floor and didn’t even attempt to get up.

Referee Danrex Tapdasan reached the count of ten with the beleaguered Magboo, 32, still on the floor, wondering what hit him.

“I have refereed a few fights that ended faster (than 45 seconds) but they were just 4-rounders,” Tapdasan said.

But Laurente’s dismantling of Magboo was on another level.

“This was the fastest main event I have refereed,” Tapdasan, a lawyer by profession, added.

Laurente, who stands 5-7 1/2, turned professional in 2019 after an impressive amateur career.

Although he didn’t get to fight in the more prestigious tournaments, Laurente reaped honors in several international meets, including placing third in the 2018 World Youth championships in Budapest, Hungary.

Eight-division champion Manny Pacquiao, who was reviving Blow-by-Blow, went up the ring to pose with the 22-year-old Laurente, a fellow General Santos City native.

Pacquiao was warmly welcomed by those in attendance, including Mandaluyong mayor Ben Abalos, who was one of his earliest supporters.

Pacquiao acknowledged Abalos’ help during the early stages of his career, telling the crowd that the public servant played a big part in his rise to stardom while he was fighting regularly in Mandaluyong.

Meanwhile, the next staging of Blow-by-Blow will likely happen in General Santos City during the 44th birthday celebrations of Pacquiao next month.

“This boxing show will travel all around the country…Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao so we can give opportunities to young boxers to fulfil their dreams of becoming a world champion,” Pacquiao added.

Then the audience applauded and began chanting, ‘Manny, Manny.’

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