Nonito Donaire thrills home crowd, stops Zsolt Bedak in three
CEBU, Philippines – Nonito Donaire got the job done in front of a partisan crowd at the Cebu City Sports Center, knocking Hungarian contender Zsolt Bedak down three times before the referee halted the fight at the 2:44 mark of Round 3 on Saturday.
Donaire (37-3, 24 knockouts) was defending a world title in front of his home country for the first time in 7 years, and didn’t disappointed the over 20,000 fans who packed into the outdoor venue to see him defend his WBO junior featherweight title.
Donaire was cautious early on, working patiently behind his left jab and looking for counterpunch opportunities against the 32-year-old Bedak (25-2, 8 KOs). Donaire’s speed and power proved too much as he dropped Bedak twice in Round 2, with the second coming at the end of the stanza to save him from further damage.
Donaire smelled blood and pressed his advantage, and finished the fight with a left uppercut followed by a right cross which dropped Bedak for the third time.
The fight was Donaire’s first defense of the title he won in a life-and-death struggle against Cesar Juarez in December. The 33-year-old didn’t specify an opponent whom he’d like to face, saying he’d want to unify the other titles but that it comes down to promotional consideration.
The fight of the night, however, belonged to Mark Magsayo and Chris Avalos, who staged a six-round featherweight war on the televised undercard. Both Magsayo (14-0, 11 KOs) and Avalos (26-5, 19 KOs) appeared on the brink of a knockout loss at different times but it was Magsayo who ultimately prevailed, climbing off the canvas in Round 3 to batter Avalos in Round 5 before his corner threw in the towel the next round at the 1:55 mark.
The show was promoted by ALA Promotions and Top Rank.