By: JD Sanchez, Cebu City, Philippines
For a city known as the boxing capital of the Philippines, you could not have written a better script how the night shaped up and culminated.
In front of 25,000 passionate Cebuanos, “The Filipino Flash” Nonito Donaire delivered the goods to finish Hungarian challenger Zsolt Bedak in just three rounds to retain the WBO World Super Bantamweight Championship Saturday evening at the Cebu City Sports Complex in Cebu.
Donaire delivers the good, calls for Rigondeaux rematch
Nonito Donaire Jr. marched to the ring as a man on a mission. The fans could even cut the tension in the air as they could sense that could sense that the defending WBO super bantamweight champion was determined to make a statement.
Donaire though started slow and the Hungarian challenger took advantage of Donaire’s slow start and landed a couple of right straight. It didn’t take long for the Filipino Flash to heat up and start to fire on all cylinders. Bedak though was able to withstand the Filipino’s early flurry.
Determined to steal the spot light, Bedak continued to unload right straight after another until he got caught with a counter left hook that staggered him immediately. “Malakas din yung left hook niya,” Donaire admitted after the fight. “Nung natamaan niya ako, nakakita ako ng stars.” Smelling blood, Donaire went for the kill and floored the former Olympian. Bedak was able to get back on his feet only to get knocked down again with the same left hook counter punch but was saved by the bell.
The Hungarian challenger was already in deep water before the third round began. Donaire would take his time to look for an opening. A series of uppercuts dazed Bedak. His back was against the ropes when Donaire unleashed a left uppercut and right straight combination. That was the final straw that broke the camel’s back. Bedak found himself lying on the mat. He’d get up but the ref had seen enough and waived the match off at the 2:44 mark of the third stanza.
Donaire admitted that he was pressured to end the fight in under six rounds since it was his father’s wishes. Despite the impressive win, the Filipino Flash already has planted targets on who he wants to fight next.
“I want to be the best. I want to fight the best. And I’m willing to fight anybody, (Guillermo) Rigondeaux, (Carl) Frampton, Anyone!” the WBO champion closed.
Magsayo passes toughest test, Pagara takes decision
In the undercard, Jason Pagara, who improves his record now to 38-2 with 23 wins via KO, showed an improved version of himself in fighting a cerebral boxing match against Mexican pugilist Miguel Zamudio to earn a unanimous decision victory.
It was an action-packed fight that went right down to the wire as Zamudio refused to succumb to the punches of Pagara. Despite being outwitted, the Mexican warrior displayed great heart before dropping the decision, 99-91, 98-92×2.
As if the crowd needed an extra push to go nuts, Marc “Magnifico” Magsayo, entered the ring to square off against Chris “The Hitman” Avalos for the vacant WBO International featherweight title.
Known for his devastating power, Magsayo’s intention from the get-go was evident – he was going to head hunt Avalos. Magsayo went for the dagger in the first two rounds of the bout much to the delight of the rabid Cebunano fans, who expected nothing less than a brutal knockout.
Avalos weathered the early storm and landed a well-placed left hook in the third to send the rising star to the canvas. Magsayo barely survived the round. The 20 year old made up for it in the next two rounds coming out swinging but Avalos refused to go down every time he was stunned – somehow managing to stand on his rubbery legs.
Badly beaten in the fifth round, Avalos was in survival mode in the sixth round as Magsayo furiously pressed the action by bombarding him with power punches from different angles until the ref put a halt to the bout with 1:05 left in the round.
Truly, this fight will be talked about by fight fans all throughout this year. Moreover, Magnifico’s time has arrived.
Rising Aussie star Paul Fleming remains unblemished
In an all-international affair, Mexican Miguel Angel Gonzalez squared off against Australian rising star Paul Fleming battled vacant WBC Continental Americas super featherweight title.
The 27 year old Mexican drew first blood Gonzalez by dropping Fleming in the opening round. Fleming braved out of it to eventually outpoint the Mexican slugger, 97-92×2, 96-93, who is just fighting for the second time outside of his native country. Even before Fleming was awarded the belt, the fans could no longer withstand the excitement knowing that the main event was about to get underway.
Top Rank and ALA Promotion’s The Time Has Come results
April 23, 2016 – Cebu City Sports Complex, Cebu City
WBO World Super Bantamweight Championship: Nonito Donaire (37-3) def. Zsolt Bedak (25-2) via TKO (2:44, R3) to retain
WBC Continental Americas Super Featherweight Championship: Paul Fleming (22-0) def. Miguel Angel Gonzales (22-8-1) via UD (96-93, 97-92×2) to win vacant title
WBO International Featherweight Championship: Mark Magsayo (14-0) def. Chris Avalos (26-5) via TKO (1:55 R6) to win vacant title
Welterweight bout: Jason Pagara (38-2) def. Miguel Zamudio (35-9-1) via UD (99-91, 98-92×2)
Super Flyweight bout: Rocky Fuentes (37-8-2) def. Romnick Magos (12-6) via MD (78-74×2, 76-76)
Featherweight bout: Jeo Santisima (10-2) def. Tabthong Tor Buamas (14-4) via TKO (2:59, R1)
Light Flyweight bout: Christian Bacolod (5-0) def. Marlou Sandoval (8-1-2)via TKO (1:49, R1)
Bantamweight bout: Virgel Vitor (7-1) def. Paulo Perono (3-9-1) via TKO (1:12, R3)
Flyweight bout: Lorenz Ladrada (2-0) def. Renjie Sabanal (1-4-1) via Unanimous Decision (39-37×3)