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Verdejo Dazzles With TKO, Donaire Wins FOTY Candidate Scrap Over Juarez

Felix Verdejo vs. Ivan Najera - Marilyn Paulino RBRBoxing (3)
Photo by Marilyn Paulino/RBRBoxing

In the truTV metroPCS Fight Night Knockout main event, Felix Verdejo (19-0, 14 KOs) impressed the partisan, hometown crowd with a highlight-reel knockout.

While Round 1 provided little action, Verdejo was in command the entire fight. Verdejo unleashed a jab right cross in Round 2, with the right hand finding its mark and sending Josenilson Dos Santos (27-4, 17 KOs) to the canvas.

Dos Santos got up, but fell into the ropes and made it abundantly clear that he was in no shape to continue.

Verdejo, one of boxing’s hottest young prospects, ends the year with a bang and stated after the fight that he hopes to be back in early 2016.

Felix Trinidad, who was Verdejo’s idol growing up, was ringside and was visibly impressed with the performance.

Opening up the year-end finale of truTV’s metroPCS Fight Night Knockout telecast, “The Filipino Flash,” Nonito Donaire Jr. (36-3, 23 KOs) entered the ring against Cesar Juarez (17-4, 13 KOs) with the vacant WBO Junior Featherweight title on the line.

Donaire got off to a quick start, looking better than he has in quite some time, working behind his jab and landing the counter right at will.

It was a one-sided beat down going into Round 4 when Donaire scored two knockdowns and looked to be on his way to a stoppage victory.

But, as is usually the case with tough-as-nails Mexican fighters, Juarez overcame the knockdowns and did not fold. Juarez may have benefited from an awkward slip from Donaire in Round 6 as he turned up the pressure for the remainder of the fight.

It was unclear whether Donaire twisted an ankle or hurt his knee, but it became noticeable that he was not comfortable boxing and moving side to side the way he was in the first few rounds.

With Donaire’s movement nearly gone, Juarez took advantage and pushed The Filipino Flash to the ropes and landed clean power shots to the head and body, seemingly making it a close fight on the cards.

In Round 10, Donaire hit the canvas and while it initially looked like it should have been ruled a knockdown (caused by a left hand from Juarez), the referee ruled it a slip.

Ray Mancini, who was commentating after downing a fifth of Don Q, furiously argued that the referee should have ruled it a knockdown as well.

In the end, the slip/knockdown ruling didn’t matter as the judges saw the fight as a one-sided affair, scoring the bout 116-110 (twice) and 117-109 for Donaire.

Donaire, who stated after the fight that he may have twisted or injured something in his foot, had to dig deep for the victory in what ended up being a much tougher assignment than expected.

With the victory over Juarez, The Filipino Flash is now the WBO Junior Featherweight title holder.

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