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Cebu City - Rey "Boom Boom" Bautista thrilled a huge crowd of fight fans in this cradle of champions with a spectacular second round knockout of rugged and game challenger Saengsak Singmanassak of Thailand to win the World Boxing Organization Asia Pacific bantamweight title at the Mandaue Sports and Cultural Center late Tuesday and emerged as the country's prized prospect for a world title alongside featherweight "People's Champion" Manny Pacquiao.
The end was so swift that it took Games and Amusements Board chairman Eduardo Villanueva whose visit to Cebu was to watch the fight by surprise as Villanueva regrettably showed up only when it was all over. The sensational performance of Bautista who just turned 18 and is a product of the famed ALA Gym of respected Cebu boxing patron Tony Aldeguer, drew rave reviews from knowledgeable boxing experts including WBO vice president Leon Panoncillo who was at special ringside. Panoncillo hailed Bautista as "another Manny Pacquiao" and said his devastating punching power was evident in the two action-packed rounds.