In one of the more anticipated fights of the evening, Nonito “Filipino Flash” Donaire (37-4, 24 KOs) took on the young and hungry lion, Jessie Magdaleno (24-0, 17 KOs) in a classic stylistic battle of youth vs. experience.
The bout opened up with the two feeling each other out, as expected. In the following round, the younger Magdaleno, stepped up the pace with strong lead right hands that began to land more often.
Donaire, a veteran in the ring, was not about to make it an easy night for the youngster. Donaire began to stalk Magdaleno across the ring and by the end of the fourth, an accidental head butt would cut open Magdaleno’s left eyebrow.
The cut about Magdaleno’s eyebrow didn’t seem to bother the 24 year old as the fight progressed. Donaire, on the other hand, struggled to find an answer for Magdaleno’s right hand and began to struggle with swelling.
By the midway point of the fight Magdaleno began to find his comfort zone in the ring and looked like he was prepared to pull away.
The ninth round would be the clearest round to score with Magdaleno landing a fury of combinations and pressing Donaire against the ropes. Donaire survived the ninth and came out swinging in the 10th, landing a strong right hand that almost dropped Magdaleno.
In the championship rounds, Donaire seemed to feel a sense of urgency but paid the price every time he stepped towards Magdaleno.
The 12th and final round saw Donaire looking for any last minute flashes of greatness, but in the end, it wasn’t enough.
Magdaleno would dethrone the Filipino via unanimous decision with scores of 116-112 twice and 118-110 respectively.
“I woke up too late. I should’ve started earlier,” said a defeated Donaire.
Now the WBO Bantamweight champion, Magdaleno will continue what looks to be an entertaining and promising career.
Photos by Mikey Williams/Top Rank
Peter Nieves is a sports journalist who's been writing for Round By Round Boxing since 2012. When he's not covering the sweet science, he's busy twirling his mustache and writing a screenplays. You can follow him on Twitter and Instagram @pnieves90