World Boxing Organization (WBO) super bantamweight champion Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire Jr. has successfully defended his title by scoring a third round technical knockout win against Hungarian Zsolt Bedak late Saturday night at the Cebu City Sports Center in Cebu.
Donaire, now with a 37-3 win-loss record with 24 knockouts, started softening the former Olympian Bedak in the second round using jarring upper cuts. The Filipino’s explosive combination proved too much for Bedak with 2:44 remaining in the third round.
Referee Russel Mora stopped the fight as Bedak wobbled while absorbing Donaire’s vicious assaults. Bedak ‘s win-loss record dropped to 25-2 with eight knockouts.
“As what I’ve told you if he engages in the fight, he would be knocked down by Nonito so fast and that’s what happened,” Donaire’s the father and trainer “Dodong” told The Manila Times on Sunday in a phone interview.
Although the former featherweight world champion Donaire admitted that he was hurt after receiving headshots during the first round, he stayed cautious and used his counter-punching skills to knockdown Bedak twice in the second round.
It was Donaire’s first successful title defense after winning the vacant WBO title over Cesar Juarez of Mexico in December in Puerto Rico.
“He [Bedak] is too brave to engage Nonito, he didn’t run. He also hurt Nonito but he paid the price. I thought in the first place he would run but he is too brave,” said the older Donaire. “The hot climate didn’t affect Bedak. He acclimatized in the Philippines.”
In the other matches, Filipino Mark Magsayo won the vacant WBO international featherweight title and remained unbeaten in 14 fights after scoring a knockout victory over American Chris Avalos in the sixth round.
WBO No. 1 junior welterweight contender Jason Pagara won via unanimous decision over Miguel Zamudio (35-9-1 record with 21 knockouts) of Mexico. Pagara improved his win-loss record to 38-2 with 23 knockouts.
Meanwhile, Australian Paul Fleming kept his unbeaten record by scoring a unanimous decision win over Mexican Miguel Gonzales.
JOSEF T. RAMOS