Donaire aims for Darchinyan's titles after Pinoy Power 3 KO
Pacquiao, Roach believe Peñalosa won
MANILA, Philippines (2nd UPDATE) - Nonito “the Filipino Flash” Donaire, Jr. churned out a 3rd round knockout victory over Mexican Manuel “Chango” Vargas in Saturday’s (Sunday in Manila) Pinoy Power 3/Latin Fury 13 event at the Las Vegas Hilton.
The 27-year-old World Boxing Association (WBA) interim super flyweight champion sent Vargas to the canvass at 1:40 in Round 3 with a solid left uppercut. Donaire retained his title and improved his record to 23-1 (15 KOs).
He said of his opponent in a post-fight interview: “I felt that he could not back me up when I throw my jab. He could have pressured me then made it a different game cuz i would have boxed a little bit but in the last round we figured him out. My corner was telling me ‘Relax, you’re too stiff.’”
When he finally calmed down, Donaire said he did what he exactly did in the gym.
“I used my right, I used my left, side to side and I did everything that I can to make him confused and he did not know where I was,” he said of Vargas, who now has a record of 26-5-1 (11 KOs).
Donaire landed 35 out of the 106 punches thrown while Vargas merely landed 4 out of 45 punches.
The 28-year-old Mexican was a late replacement for compatriot Gerson “El Nene” Guerrero, who was declared out of the Pinoy Power 3/Latin Fury 3 main event after failing an eye exam due to a detached retina.
Donaire said it the main event shakeup was no problem for him because he has a blueprint for Mexican fighters in his head.
“And he was pretty much the same thing, you know, the jab would go over the hook,” he added.
“I went side to side. I led him with the jab so he thinks I will go the other way but I was on the right side then I’ll throw the right because he was open for it and when he thinks I was on the right side, I’m on the left side. So that’s what I did. It was just the blue print and the good guys behind me that did it.”
Filipino boxing sensation and 7-division champion Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao watched the event live at the Las Vegas Hilton to show support for his fellow fighters. Aside from the pound-for-pound king, fallen fighter ZC Oliveros “Z” Gorres was also at ringside.
Donaire, meantime, said he is setting his sights on the WBA and World Boxing Council (WBC) unified super flyweight belts of Armenian Vic Darchinyan.
“That’s what I came for and hopefully I’ll get that fight. I’m here, I’m a fighter but I gotta listen to my guys.”
Donaire knocked out Darchinyan in the 5th round of their bout in 2007. He won the Armenian’s International Boxing Federation (IBF) flyweight title.
“For me, when you ask a fighter if they’re gonna fight, you know I’m definitely gonna fight especially if I can acquire two belts.”
He then addressed his supporters: “I would like to thank everyone for coming down. I appreaciate you guys. You guys are my blessing. Happy Valentine's to you guys and hopefully you guys find everything you need in Vegas.”
Prior to his Pinoy Power 3 win, he posted a unanimous decision win in Pinoy Power 2 over Rafael “El Torito” Concepcion of Panama last August.
Meanwhile, 2 Filipinos lost while 2 others won in the other matches which pitted Filipinos against Latinos.
Ciso “Kid Terrible” Morales was knocked out in Round 1 of his title fight against World Boxing Organization (WBO) bantamweight champion Fernando “Cochulito” Montiel.
It was a strong blow to the stomach that put Morales down, grimacing in pain, noted ABS-CBN News correspondent Dyan Castillejo.
He was rushed to the Valley Hospital after the fight, ABS-CBN North American News correspondent Bev Llorente reported.
Morales replaced Gorres in the Pinoy Power 3/Latin Fury 13 lineup after the latter suffered a brain injury last November after his unanimous decision win over Colombian Luis Melendez.
“Nonito Donaire Sr. said Morales was in fear. He wasn’t determined at all. He was already complaining that he has a stomach ache hours before Morales’ bout with Montiel,” Llorente said on ANC’s “Dateline Philippines Sunday.”
'Peñalosa should have won'
Gerry “Fearless” Peñalosa meantime, lost to Puerto Rican Eric “Little Hands of Steel” Morel via split decision.
The scores were 115-113 in favor of Morel, 115-113 in favor of Peñalosa, and 116-112 in favor of Morel.
The veteran Filipino boxer fought on despite suffering cuts on his eyes after encountering 2 accidental head butts.
He came back with renewed energy in Round 6 and scored clean and strong blows to the body. Castillejo reported that Peñalosa kept on the offensive as Morel held on every time he got hurt.
But for trainer Freddie Roach and Pacquiao, they think Peñalosa prevailed. Peñalosa himself also thought that he won.
“Talagang panalo si Gerry,” Pacquiao commented when he was interviewed by ABS-CBN Sports commentators Ronnie Nathanielsz and Dyan Castillejo. “Lamang siya ng pitong (7) rounds.”
Earlier, Bernabe “The Real Deal” Concepcion and Mark Jason “MJM Grand” Melligen posted victories in their undercard fights.
Concepcion scored a unanimous decision win in his 10-round fight over Puerto Rican Mario “Principe Ponce” Santiago with the scores 98-91, 96-93, 97-92.
A powerful right from the 22-year-old Filipino knocked down the Puerto Rican in Round 6. Santiago got up right away and Concepcion continued to attack.
Pacquiao, who is Concepcion’s manager, commented on his ward: “Kulang lang yung timing. Coordination sa paa niya at saka sa kamay niya.”
He went on to say, “Proud ako sa boksingero ko. Next fight niya is Juan Manuel Marquez... ‘Pag lumaban siya, ako nandoon ako lagi araw-araw sa training niya.”
Melligen, meantime, clinched the first triumph for the Philippines in Pinoy Power 3/Latin Fury 13. He won over American Raymond Gatica via technical knockout in Round 6. He scored 2 knockdowns in the bout.
Trainer Tony Martin told ABS-CBN News that Melligen still needs a lot of workout to do.
Meanwhile, Pacquiao also took the time to say a few words to the crowd at the Las Vegas Hilton and the viewers.
He invited them to attend his fundraiser for Gorres on Sunday. “Sana lahat ng Pilipino nandito tulungan natin si Gorres, para sa kaniyang pamilya. We already gave Gorres our help, Bob [Arum] and I.”
“At sana suportahan po natin. Kung gusto niyo pong tumulong, ipangalan sa foundation ko, Manny Pacquiao Foundation.”
Pacquiao is training in the US for his “The Event” bout with Ghanaian Joshua Clottey on March 13 at the Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
Pinoy Power 3 was telecast live on ABS-CBN Channel 2 on Sunday, February 14. Replays were shown on the same day on Studio 23 at 8 p.m. and ABS-CBN’s “Sunday’s Best” at 10:30 p.m.
Viewers can also watch the Pinoy Power 3 replays on SkyCable TV’s Balls Channel on February 16 at 4 p.m. and February 18 at 9 p.m.
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