21.12.03 - By Dennis Principe: SUBIC BAY Freeport Zone Ė Philippine featherweight champion Bobby Pacquiao kept his title the other night by scoring a sensational but hard-fought 6th round knockout win over challenger Renato Inal at the Subic Sports Complex. The 23 year-old Pacquiao encountered rough sailing from a determined Inal who ate leather at every step but connected his own solid combos to the championís head and body.
Pacquiao, younger brother of world champion Manny Pacquiao who was at ringside to witness the championship match, was barely leading on just two of the three judges when he let go of a vicious shot to Inalís body, making the challenger crumple to the canvass.
Scoring referee Bruce McTavish called a halt to bout at exactly 3:00 of the fateful round as Inal continued to lie in the canvass writhing in pain.
In another title fight, Joel Bauya took the vacant Philippine bantamweight crown after challenger Noel Sungahid surrendered due to a pulled muscle injury in his right arm.
The fight was officially declared a 7th round TKO win for Bauya when Sungahid laid down his arm that got hit by the new championís head.
The bantamweight title was left vacant since champion Alvin Felisilda was forced to retire when he suffered a career-ending head injury in a non-title bout in Japan some few weeks ago.
In a special 10-round attraction, former Philippine flyweight champion Z Gorres scored a close but hard-earned split verdict over current RP superflyweight champion Eric Barcelona in a non-title bout.
The 20-year old Gorres had to survive a flash 9th round knockdown to hinder a late rally by Barcelona and earn the nod of two judges with scores of 97-92 from McTavish, 96-95 by Ferdinand Estrella as against the surprising 97-92 of Narciso Martinez.