Monday, October 02, 2023  |



Cesar Cuenca derails Ik Yang’s title dreams in Macau

Fighters Network
Photo by Anthony Wallace/AFP-Getty Images

Photo by Anthony Wallace/AFP-Getty Images

Over 5,000 fans came to the Venetian Resort in Macau to root on Chinese fighter Ik Yang as he challenged for the vacant IBF junior welterweight title. The heavy-hitting Yang had legendary trainer Freddie Roach in his corner and the hometown advantage, but Cesar Cuenca’s experience was too much to overcome.

The Argentine got off the canvas in Round 5 to win a unanimous decision by the scores 117-108, 115-110 and 116-09, marking the second straight time that a Chinese fighter had come up on the losing end in a world title fight in Macau.

Two-time Olympic gold medalist Zou Shiming had fallen short in his quest for a title in March when he dropped a decision to Amnat Ruenroeng for the IBF flyweight title.

It was the first time the 34-year-old Cuenca (48-0, 2 knockouts) had ever fought outside of his native country in his 13-year career, while Yang (19-1, 14 KOs) loses for the first time as a professional.

In the co-featured bout, former four-division champion Nonito Donaire Jr was too fast and too powerful for Frenchman Anthony Settoul, knocking him down 3 times before Settoul’s corner threw in the towel at 1:41 of the second round.

Donaire (35-3, 23 KOs) dropped the overmatched Settoul (20-4, 8 KOs) twice in the first round, beginning with a left uppercut that caused a delayed reaction knockdown. Moments later, Donaire threw a right hand, then used that hand to keep Settoul in place for a rib-crunching left hook for another knockdown.

Settoul made it out of Round 1, but found himself back on the canvas a minute into the next round from an overhand right that sent him down on all fours.

Donaire, who has now won two straight at junior featherweight since his first knockout defeat to Nicholas Walters in October, is being projected to face England’s Scott Quigg next, should Quigg come out victorious over Spanish fighter Kiko Martinez tonight.

Also, 2012 U.S. Olympian Jose Carlos Ramirez (15-0, 12 KOs) stopped Ryusei Yoshida (26-8, 13 KOs) after the third round.