MANILA, Philippines – Filipino boxer Rey “The HItman” Loreto claimed the vacant International Boxing Organization (IBO) light-flyweight belt after knocking out former champion Nkosinathi Joyi of South Africa at the Salle des Etoiles in Monte Carlo.
Loreto stopped Joyi at the 49 second mark of the third round, improving his record to 18 wins against 13 losses, with 10 wins coming by way of knockout.
Joyi, a former minimumweight champion, lost for only the third time in his career. He has 24 wins, 17 by knockout.
“My dream came true and my hard work paid off,” said Loreto, who was fighting outside of the Philippines for the first time.
It was also his first attempt to claim a major world title.
“The South African was a dangerous, experienced opponent, but I knew we could win,” said Loreto’s manager, Brico Santig.
The Loreto-Joyi battle was part of the undercard in the event headlined by world champion Gennady Golovkin’s title defense against Ghana’s Osumanu Adama. -- By Marlon Bernardino