MACAU (UPDATED) - Nonito ''The Filipino Flash'' Donaire made short work of his French opponent, stopping Anthony Settoul in just two rounds of their 10-round bout at the Cotai Arena in Macau Saturday.
The former five-division champion showed up with a much improved boxing style, utilizing right straights and body shots instead of just relying on his devastating left hook.
This allowed Donaire to knock down Settoul twice in the first round and one last time during the second stanza.
"We worked really hard for this fight and I did everything I needed to do," said a barely sweating Donaire afterwards.
"I wanted to set him up with the body shots and finish it from there."
In the first round, the Filipino Flash timed the Frenchman with a short stab to the liver while dodging Settoul's looping shots. The painful shot to the body forced Settoul to take a knee, while referee Danrex Tapdasan was giving him the mandatory count.
The French boxer was able to stand up but was again met with another combination capped with another left hook to the body. This led to Settoul's second knockdown.
In the second round, Donaire smashed Settoul with a right straight that decked the Frenchman. Settoul stood up on wobbly knees, forcing his corner to throw in the towel.
Tapdasan halted the fight at 1:41 of the second round.
''We did well here. Hopefully you guys enjoyed the fight,'' said Donaire while addressing the crowd at the Cotai Arena.
The Filipino Flash said he trained hard to improve his other punches so he would not rely too much on his left hook.
''Not everybody's gonna look just for the left hook now. I have more than one weapon and that's everything else,'' added the beaming Filipino-American.
The 2012 Fighter of the Year improved his record to 35 wins and three defeats (23 KOs) and is now in line for another world title crack, probably for the WBA super bantamweight belt against Britain's Scott Quigg in Dubai later this year.
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Two other fighters had very easy nights as their opponents quit in confusing and slightly unsatisfactory fashion.
American-based Russian Denis Shafikov enjoyed an easy win when his Indonesian lightweight opponent Roy Mukhlis decided he no longer wanted to continue halfway through the third round.
Former US Olympian Jose Ramirez had a facile win after also travelling halfway around the world to the southern Chinese city when his Japanese opponent Ryusei Yoshida quit on his stool at the start of the fourth round.
Ramirez (15-0, 12 KOs) was awarded a technical knockout in an anti-climactic end to the junior welterweight contest after catching Yoshida with several heavy shots towards the end of the third round.
Chinese fight fans earlier had plenty to be delighted about at Cotai Arena.
There was a stirring display by local favorite "Macau Kid" Kuok Kun Ng who knocked out awkward southpaw Phompetch Twins Gym two minutes into the fourth round of their welterweight contest.
"KK" as he is known took his record to 8-0 (4 KOs) when he landed a peach of a right uppercut on the Thai southpaw who was out even before he hit the canvas.
And the super flyweight "Wonder Kid" Rex Tso from nearby Hong Kong continued his march towards a world title shot by taking his record to 17-0 (10 KOs) with a fourth-round stoppage of Thailand's Khunkhiri Wor Wisaruth.
It appeared the referee may have stepped in a little early to save Wisaruth (21-12-1, 14 KOs) from further punishment, but the heavy-punching Tso was dominating the fight and the outcome was inevitable. – with a report from Agence France-Presse