Sunday, September 24, 2023  |


Donaire, Montiel dominate easy opponents

Fighters Network

Ciso Morales writhes in pain on the canvas after absorbing a left hook to the body from Fernando Montiel in the first round of their bantamweight title bout in Las Vegas, Nev., on Saturday. Referee Robert Byrd waved the fight off at 2:06 of the opening round. Photo / Chris Farina

Nonito Donaire, THE RING's No. 7-rated 115-pound contender, had an easy time with late substitute Manuel Vargas, who he stopped in the third round of a scheduled 10-round main event in Las Vegas, Nev., on Saturday.

Donaire (23-1, 15 KOs), a former 112-pound titleholder, was too big, too strong, too fast and too skilled for the hopelessly outmatched Vargas (26-5-1, 11 KOs), whose last bout was in the 105-pound division.

The talented Filipino fighter controlled the bout from a distance, pot-shotting the Mexican veteran at will in the first two rounds, before closing the show with a well-placed left uppercut to the jaw in the third. The bout was waved off at 1:33 of the round with Vargas on his back.

Donaire's original challenger Gerson Guerrero was a much bigger opponent but the veteran failed his pre-fight eye exam a few days before the Top Rank-promoted card. Vargas took the bout on three days notice.

In the co-featured bout of the card, which offered on pay-per-view in the U.S., THE RING's No. 9-rated bantamweight contender Fernando Montiel defended his 118-pound belt with a first-round KO of undefeated by untested Filipino prospect Ciso Morales.

Montiel (40-2-2, 30 KOs) halted Morales (14-1, 8 KOs) with a single left hook to the liver, flooring the youngster for the count at 2:06 of the round.