Apolinario overcomes knockdown to secure knockout victory over Thai opponent

Dave Apolinario overcomes adversity to defeat Tanes Ongjunta (Image Credit: Sanman Boxing via philstar.com)

By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña

Filipino boxer Dave Apolinario staged a remarkable comeback from a third-round knockdown, achieving a sensational fourth-round knockout of Thailand’s Tanes Ongjunta in their flyweight bout on February 22, 2024, at Tokyo’s Korakuen Hall.

The former International Boxing Organization (IBO) flyweight champion faced an early test when Ongjunta sent him to the mat in the third round. Apolinario had initially dominated the scorecards in the first two rounds but entered the third with a risky strategy, leaving his defenses down as he advanced.

This lapse allowed Ongjunta to shift the fight’s momentum, catching Apolinario off-guard with a powerful right-hand counter. The Thai fighter, capitalizing on Apolinario’s aggressive but undisciplined swings, timed his punch perfectly. Yet, instead of pursuing an aggressive follow-up, Ongjunta conserved energy and returned to his precise striking technique.

The bout’s dynamics shifted in the final 30 seconds when a head clash left Ongjunta with a significant cut above his left eyebrow. Sensing an opportunity, Apolinario honed in on the injury with a flurry of punches, disrupting Ongjunta’s flow and impairing his vision.

Apolinario then leveled the playing field with a counter right hook that floored Ongjunta, evening the scorecards. With the momentum in his favor, Apolinario pressed for a decisive finish and achieved it with a potent right uppercut that drove Ongjunta back to the ropes.

Struggling to recover, the Thai boxer made an effort to rise before the referee’s count reached ten, but the cumulative damage inflicted by Apolinario was overwhelming.

This pivotal victory not only showcased Apolinario’s resilience but also extended his undefeated streak to 20 professional fights, with 14 wins by knockout.