Photo from Top Rank
Manny Pacquiao and Nonito Donaire entered the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas as the challenger and the champion respectively heading to their respective bouts. But when the night ended, the two Filipino legends had opposing results.
Pacquiao claims WBO world welterweight title in return
Pacquiao, the world’s only eight-division world champion, added another championship to his already legendary career by becoming the new WBO world welterweight champion, defeating Jessie Vargas with a 114-113, 118-109, and 118-109 unanimous decision victory.
“I feel happy,” Pacquiao said. “I’m trying every round to knock him down but I don’t want to be careless. I was very careful to go inside because I know he will counter me.”
“I feel I could do more, but every round I did try to knock him out. I wanted to win every round. Walking into the ring tonight as a challenger energized me,” the legislator furthered.
Making his return to the ring following a brief retirement, Pacman started out slow in the opening round but immediately made his presence felt when he caught Vargas with a left, sending him to the canvas. He continued the onslaught in the following round by unleashing a flurry on the champion to gain the upper hand.
Vargas came up big in the fourth, landing a right that tagged Pacquiao. That opened things for him to connect few more punches and claim the round. Vargas continued to pounce on the still-recovering Pacquiao in the fifth. But when he regained his bearings, Manny picked up where he left off and landed a variety of punches during the seventh canto.
Pacquiao blitzed through Vargas in the succeeding rounds with his exceptional speed and footwork that battered the latter, resulting to what could’ve been a broken nose for Vargas. Even at 37, the fighting Senator from the Philippines has shown he has a lot left on his tank, controlling the Vargas until the final bell.
After the bout, Pacquiao (59-6-2, 38 KO) said he was pleased with his performance and is looking to return to work in the Senate. As for his next fight, he plans to sit down with Top Rank CEO Bob Arum for their next move.
Donaire yields super bantamweight belt to undefeated Magdaleno
In the co-main event, Nonito Donaire (37-4, 24 KO) didn’t have the same success as Pacquiao, dropping his WBO world super bantamweight belt after suffering a unanimous decision loss to the undefeated Jessie Magdaleno (23-0, 17 KO).
The younger Magdaleno connected early in the fight, wisely landing his punches to start the fight. He also utilized on his speed to press the pace on Donaire, both on offense and defense.
In the fourth round, “The Filipino Flash” started to find his rhythm which he tried to capitalized on the next two rounds. But Magdaleno reasserted himself and was able to connect on his shots, leaving Donaire with a partially swollen left eye.
Magdaleno once again showed his slick boxing to control the eighth. By the ninth round, he caught the Filipino with hard shots. In the tenth round, things got a little interesting in the following round as both men exchanged blows with Donaire clipped Magdaleno with a short right yet Magdaleno continued to come at him to end the round.
Donaire tried for one last push in the final two rounds, landing another short right to Magdaleno but has the answers to everything that he threw at. By the end of the fight, Magdaleno came out the victor in all three judges with a score of 116-112, 116-112, and 118-110.
Magdaleno’s relentless pressure was evident in the amount of punches he threw the entire fight. According to Compubox, The 24-year old fired a total of 500 punches, with 154 or 31 percent landed. Donaire on the other hand, threw fewer but slightly more accurate punches, with 132 out of 404, for 33 percent.
The victory is the biggest for the Mexican-American’s career to date, improving his record 24-0.
Donaire absorbs his fourth defeat in of his forty-one fight-career.