Tuesday, March 20, 2018  |


Jessie Cris Rosales stuns Ibrahim Balla, knocks him cold in two

Photo via Facebook

Jessie Cris Rosales had been feeling pretty down after his last fight, a second-round knockout loss to Jhonny Gonzalez last July in Mexico. The 26-year-old Filipino turned his fortunes around in a big way Saturday in Australia, knocking 2012 Olympian Ibrahim Balla cold in the second round at Grand Star Receptions just outside Melbourne.

“I’m very shocked,” said Rosales (22-1-1, 10 knockouts), who dropped Balla (13-2, 7 KOs) so stiff that the referee stopped the fight without a count. “It’s a big comeback from my first loss.”

Rosales, of Danao City, Philippines, earned the WBA Oceania featherweight belt with the win, while Balla, 27, snaps a four-fight winning streak. Balla’s previous defeat came in 2016, a third-round stoppage against Neil John Tabanao.

It was a far more authoritative effort from Rosales than his fight against Gonzalez, when he froze in the moment and was blasted out in his first step-up after an early career built against weak opposition.

“It was win or learn,” Rosales said of his first defeat, adding that he wants “more fights to improve and defend the title.

“The best time will come for a world title.”

Qamil Balla, Ibrahim’s older brother, had better luck in the co-feature, defeating Adam Diu Abdulhamid by unanimous decision to bounce back from his first career defeat to George Kambosos Jr. nearly a year ago.

  • Teddy Reynoso

    I don’t know why the Ring featured Balla as a new prospect in its recent issue on account merely of his being a former Olympian as he guy lost miserably earlier to another Filipino, John Neil Tabanao by TKO. (Tabanao took on Ghana’s Isaac Dogboe in his next fight and lost by decision and Dogboe went on to win an interim belt at 126 lbs and is now scheduled to fight Jessie Magdaleno for the WBO regular belt) And then this knockout loss to Rosales. Just shows how far off Balla is from being even a prospect.

  • Teddy Reynoso

    It’s good to hear that Pinoy fighters at least split their assignments in Australia. Rosales won by kayo and Abdulhamid lost in points. There had been weekends where Pinoys got blanked or got the shorter end of the tally in fights Down Under. The Moloney fighting brothers have beaten all Pinoy fighters ranged against them in the super flyweight and super bantamweight classes. But most certainly they have yet to face the best that the Philippines can still offer in those divisions.