The second of 4 world title fights this evening in the US saw a new WBO Featherweight champion being crowned as Filipino legend Nonito Donaire (37-4, 24) was out pointed by unbeaten challenger Jessie Magdaleno (24-0, 17).
The fight started slowly and tactically with the first two rounds being very quiet and seemed to be won by Magdaleno's slightly fast work, with Donaire looking like the older and slower fighter. Despite Magdaleno looking quicker there was very little to pick between them in the early stages.
In round 3 Donaire seemed to change tact, bringing more concentrated pressure to Magdaleno who was forced to respond. The round was a much more engaging one and although it was Donaire changing the game plan it was one that he didn't really land a lot in. The same tactic however did pay off in round 4, although it was a round where the key event was a clash of heads that left Magdaleno cut around the left eye.
Despite the cut Magdaleno had a solid round 5, landing what was the best shot of the right up to that point, the success from that round seemed to fill the challenger with confidence and he he looked in control a lot more in the rounds that followed as Donaire looked to land a game change. In round 7 finally landed a major blow, a body shot, but he continued to struggle to land consistently and his blows, which had looked destructive in recent bouts, failed to budge Magdaleno.
Although Donaire seemed to be behind going into the later stages of the fight he seemed determined to continue his game plan of trying to walk down Magdaleno. The right hands from Donaire were starting to land regularly during those stages but Magdaleno himself was having great success with body shots before unloading with Donaire on the ropes late in round 9. It seemed, during the final minute of the round, as if the whole fight changed with both men being hurt. Despite being hurt in round 9 Donaire came out for round 10 looking rejuvenated and pressed forth putting the challenger under pressure and landed some solid shots, but was countered numerous times by the younger man.
Going into the championship rounds Donaire likely thought he was behind and came out looking for a KO, throwing big shots early and connecting with a number of them. Again it seemed like he couldn't turn things around with a single shot, but he was going to keep looking for a KO blow, and often got tagged with counters from a still energetic Magdaleno. Donaire continued looking for a big shot through out the final round and landed several that shook up Magdaleno, though never managed to drop his man, or score a fighting ending KO blow.
Despite the effort from Donaire it seemed clear he had come up short, despite being on the front foot for the most part. He seemed too slow and was never able to maintain any major success to change the fight around. The cards, with scores of 116-112, twice, and 118-110 were all in Magdaleno's favour and despite there being some close rounds it did seem like a 116-112 type win for Magdaleno.
With the loss Donaire is likely looking at retirement, or final run, whilst Magdaleno announces himself as a serious player at 122lbs.
World Title Results
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