SAN DIEGO, November 5, 2016 – Saturday’s undercard bouts in Las Vegas offered one title changing hands, a rising star, and one of Asia’s most popular athletes all winning in convincing fashion at the Thomas & Mack Center.
Oscar Valdez (21-0, 18 KOs) of Mexico had another strong outing, showing why so many boxing fans are excited about his fights and his future, stopping Japanese veteran Hiroshige Osawa (30-4-4, 19 KOs) to keep his WBO featherweight division title. It is his fifth consecutive stoppage victory.
Although he gave it a good effort, Osawa was outgunned from the start. In the fourth round, Valdez landed a perfectly placed left hook to the jaw, dropping Osawa. Osawa made it to his feet. Valdez went after him with 1:40 left, but the veteran knew what he needed to do to survive the round and clear his head.
It was only a matter of time for Osawa. Valdez rocked Osawa again in round seven, and while Osawa didn’t get knocked down this time, Valdez unleashed his best punches, and referee Vic Draculich stopped the bout at 1:50 of the round.
Valdez throws with authority and aggression. He make nearly every punch a power punch. But he is maturing and learning on the job, taking his time while doing his best to make every punch matter. He’s succeeding. The featherweight division is loaded with talent, and it won’t be long before Valdez gets to face the big names like Frampton and Santa Cruz.
Jessie Magdaleno (24-0, 17 KOs) is the new WBO junior featherweight world champion, scoring a unanimous 12 round decision over veteran Nonito Donaire (37-4, 24 KOs) of the Philippines.
The fight can be described as busy rather than nonstop. Magdaleno took a few rounds to get his bearings and figure Donaire out. He showed no fear of the champion, and although Donaire won a few rounds in the first half of the fight, Magdaleno was busier and more accurate.
In the eighth round, Magdaleno started putting his observations of the veteran to work. In the final minute of the ninth round, Magdaleno scored with a good check right hook, and as Donaire was wobbled, Magdaleno pursued him across the ring. Only Donaire’s experience allowed him to survive the round, along with the patience of referee Tony Weeks.
Donaire came out in the tenth firing, and through the final three rounds worked with an increasing sense of urgency. He had good moments and landed several flush shot on Magdaleno, but the younger man was tough and was hurt but not wobbled. It ended up being too little too late. The scorecards were 118-110 and 116-112 X 2 for Magdaleno.
On his way out of the ring, Donaire said, “I woke up too late,” and it’s as good a way to sum up the fight as anything. It may not be the end of Donaire’s career, but it will be difficult for the 33-year-old to reach the top spot he once occupied.
Chinese flyweight Zou Shiming (9-1, 2 KOs) dominated his fight against Prasitsak Papoem (39-2-2, 24 KOs) of Thailand, winning a 12 round decision by scores of 120-107 X 2 and 119-108. Shiming, trained by Freddie Roach, wins the vacant WBO flyweight title. Shiming, a big star in China, enjoyed himself and entertained his Chinese fans in Las Vegas. Papoem was too slow and outworked by Shiming, who has good basic skills and is learning to be more aggressive, but is not yet in the exceptional category.
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is also a serious boxing fan covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Ringside Seat in Communities Digital News. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego.
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