CEBU City – Nonito Donaire Jr. made short work of Zsolt Bedak and scored a third round technical knockout to retain his World Boxing Organization (WBO) super-bantamweight title on Saturday night before a huge crowd at the Cebu City Sports Complex here.
The champion knocked down the Hungarian challenger twice in the second round with a pair of left hooks before delivering the coup de grace with an overhand right that dropped the 32-year-old Bedak for the third time.
The challenger gamely rose from the canvas, but referee Russel Mora waived off the fight at the 2:44 mark of the third round.
“Nakita ko na natamaan ko siya. Marami akong mali na ginawa, but am still grateful na na-knock out ko yung kalaban,” said Donaire after the fight.
"I expected him to tire out by the fourth or fifth round and take him down," said the champion. "But then he chose to fight and we took it to him."
Donaire is now 37-3 with 24 KOs as he retained his 122-lbs belt for the first time since winning over Cesar Juarez last December.
Bedak suffered the second loss of his career (25-2, 8 KOs). Although it was a short night for the challenger, Donaire admitted the Hungarian did hurt him at some point of the 12-round match.
“Malakas din (siya). Natamaan din ako ng malakas and that’s something na kailangan kong baguhin. Gigil na gigl (kasi) ako,” said the 33-year-old Filipino.
"But I was just more powerful than him tonight."
Earlier, Mark Magsayo electrified the weekend crowd by surviving a third round knockdown to stop Chris ‘The Hitman’ Avalos in an action-packed brawl.
The promising 20-year-old boxer from Tagbilaran, Bohol finished the game American in the sixth round of their back-and-forth match for the WBO International featherweight championship.
Just when everything was not going right for Magsayo after two successive left by Avalos dropped him late in the third, the determined Filipino rose above adversity and turned the fight around when he wobbled the American behind a series of combinations just as the fifth round was coming to an end.
Smelling blood, Magsayo pressed the action and went for the kill. Bombarding his opponent with successive combinations, he had the American in trouble and on the verge of going down in the sixth round when Avalos’ corner decided to throw in the towel.
As referee Danrex Tapdasan went in between the two fighters and signaled the end of the 12-round match, Magsayo went down on both knees and raised his two hands in triumph, relieved at enduring what has so far been the biggest challenge of his young career.
Time of stoppage came at the 1:55 mark.
Magsayo improved his record to 14-0, including 11 KOs, the future certainly looking bright for the upcoming star out of ALA Promotions.
The 31-year-old Avalos of Lancaster, California, fell to 26-6 (19 KOs) and lost his third straight fight. For a few seconds just before the pivotal round, the American sat unconscious in his stool, but was revived in time to answer the bell for round six.
"Dapat dun pa lang itinigil na yung laban," said Magsayo trainer Edito Villamor. "Very dangerous yun, kahit na ba gusto niya (Avalos) pang lumaban."
Jason Pagara meanwhile, won by unanimous decision over Miguel Zamudio in their 10-round bout at junior middleweight.
The Filipino won by scores of 99-91, 98-92, 98-92 over the Mexican.