Ryan Songalia

Servania stops Munoz in 12, eyes Montiel or Darchinyan next

MANILA, Philippines — It is a tradition in boxing that older fighters who are unable to walk away from boxing are fed to the next generation of fighters to bolster their resumes.

That is what happened to former two-time WBA junior bantamweight titleholder Alexander Munoz, who, at 35, lacked the vigor to keep up with 22-year-old junior featherweight contender Genesis Servania.

Servania outworked outpunched the veteran from Caracas, Venezuela before knocking him out at the 2:22 mark of the twelfth round at the Solaire Resort in Pasay City, Philippines. 

As Munoz looked weary from a long, punishing fight, Servania (24-0, 10 KOs) of Bacolod City, Philippines threw a left hook to blind his opponent to the right cross that dropped the Venezuelan for the third time in the fight. Munoz rose up, but referee Danrex Tapdasan stopped the fight to prevent serious damage.

The writing was on the wall Friday night when Munoz turned away from the staredown with Servania, who is 13 years his junior. Munoz said afterwards the that he had considered himself more or less retired since becoming a part-time fighter over the past three years, and that he had a rental car business that he was more invested in.

Servania looked poised to end the fight early in round two when a right hand to the body, followed by a right hand to the chin knocked Munoz down for a count of nine and a half. Munoz got up and was saved by the bell. 

There was some drama in the sixth round when Servania sustained a cut on his left eye – perhaps the same cut that opened up against Konosuke Tomiyama in Macau last year.

Servania continued to plow forward, and in the ninth round dropped Munoz once more with a left hook to the body.

Afterwards, promoter Michael Aldegeur of ALA Promotions said he wanted to see Servania in other similar tests against former champions.

"We want more fights like this," said Aldegeur. "We started negotiations to bring Fernando Montiel here, we talked about him and Darchinyan before he fought Nonito Donaire. I think these are the fights this guy needs. When you’re young you need to go through fights like these in order to be prepared to fight for a world title."

In the co-featured fight, Albert Pagara (19-0, 13 KOs) had no issues putting away his outsized opponent. Pagara, 20, of Maasin City, Philippines stopped Isack Junior (22-5-2, 8 KOs) in their junior featherweight bout at the 2:41 mark.

Junior, whose best weight was at 115 pounds where he beat former title challenger Bert Batawang, was too easy a target against the ropes as Pagara took advantage to pound him along the ropes.

Pagara finally put him down for the count after landing a right hand underneath Junior's right ribcage.

Arthur Villanueva was expected to have an easy night after original opponent Juan Hernandez pulled out two weeks ago after a motorcycle injury. Fernando Aguilar, the man who stepped in on short notice, didn't get the memo.

The Mexico City native Aguilar stayed punch-for-punch with the 25-year-old from Bago City, Philippines, causing Villanueva's cheering squad uneasy moments along the way.

Villanueva admitted afterwards that he was hurt in rounds 4 and 8, but overcame the difficulties to land enough blows to earn the unanimous decision victory. Three judges awarded Villanueva the fight 94-93, 95-92 and 96-91, bringing his record to 25-0 (14 knockouts). Aguilar's record dips to 9-1 (7 KOs).

"It was very hard to adjust in the fight," admitted Villanueva, who says he was disappointed in his performance. He's very strong, his heart is big."

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