Filipino featherweight Jhack Tepora clinched the WBA interim featherweight title by stopping Mexico's Edivaldo Ortega in 9 rounds in the undercard of the Manny Pacquiao-Lucas Matthysse bout at Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur Sunday.
Official time of stoppage is 2:38 mark of the ninth.
Tepora is the second Filipino to come away with the win in the "Fight of Champions" card.
Juan Miguel Elorde, grandson of former world champion Gabriel "Flash" Elorde, defeated Ratchanon Sawangsoda of Thailand via third round TKO in the opening preliminary bout.
After trailing the sweet-punching Ortega early in the bout, Tepora gained ground in the latter rounds and hurt the Mexican with walloping right hooks to the head.
In the deciding round, Tepora’s connected a right uppercut to Ortega’s chin and floored the Mexican.
The 25-year-old Cebuano then went for the finisher, prompting the referee to step in when Ortega could no longer defend himself.
“Sobrang saya, gusto ko kasing maging world champion. Bata pa ko gusto ko nang maging world champion,” he said following the win.
“Noong dati namumulot lang ako sa daan, nakita ko po si sir Manny na naging champion. Sabi ko gusto ko rin maging tulad ni sir Manny.”
Aside from claiming the interim crown, Tepora improved his unblemished record to 22-0 with 17 knockouts.
Ortega, who was having success against Tepora early in the fight, fell to his second career defeat in 29 bouts.
Prior to facing Ortega, Tepora was coming off an impressive second-round knockout of South Africa's Lusanda Komanisi in London. That victory earned him the WBO intercontinental featherweight belt.
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