By Dennis Principe
Undefeated Filipino prospect Drian Francisco captured the vacant World Boxing Association (WBA) international super flyweight crown with a resounding 10th round TKO over Roberto Vasquez of Panama Saturday at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay City, Philippines.
Francisco started out strong as he overwhelmed Vasquez with quick jabs and looping straights.
The Occidental Mindoro native Francisco scored a knockdown with under a minute to go in the fifth round when he hit Vasquez with a left then followed it up with two more right straights.
Vasquez survived the round but came back in the sixth canto as he hit a seemingly fading Francisco with right jabs and left hooks.
By the seventh round Francisco again staggered Vasquez with more awkward blows to the head as the Panamanian retreated to the ropes.
It was evident Francisco was starting to lose more steam but what was more surprising was the inability of Vasquez to throw shots as the Filipino was seemingly defenseless with both his hands down most of the time.
A combination again dropped Vasquez in the 10th with the Panamanian hitting the canvass face first, forcing referee Ferdie Estrella to stop the fight at exactly 3:00 of the round.
“I felt week because of the long flight from Panama and the bad weather affected our final days of preparations,” said Vasquez moments after the fight.
The win raised Francisco’s record to 18-0-1 with 14 knockouts while Vasquez drops to 27-4, 20 KO’s.
In other action Michael Domingo continues his rise in the tough bantamweight class as he dominated former Olympian Jose Navarro en route to an 8th round stoppage.
Domingo peppered Navarro with right straights to the face that resulted in a huge welt on the American’s left eye.
The end actually came during the break after the 8th round as the ring physician advised referee Ferdie Estrella about the severity of the swelling.
Domingo is now 39-14-2 with 17 KO’s while Navarro (26-5, 12 KO’s) suffered his third straight loss, his last two happening in world title bouts. It was however the first time Navarro lost by stoppage.
Domingo’s stablemate Milan Melindo 19-0, 5 KO’s) kept his record unscathed with an impressive 10-round decision over Mexican Guadalupe Martinez (19-2, 17 KO‘s).
In what turned out to be the best fight of the card, Gerry Penalosa protégé Michael Farenas recovered from a second round knockdown in stopping sturdy Korean Jae-Bong Jang in the 9th round.
Farenas initially dropped Jang with a right hook in the second canto but the game Korean gamely came back and floored the Filipino with a left hook.
Farenas got up wobbly but recovered the Korean’s onslaught. It was nip and tuck from then on until Farenas (25-2-3, 22 KO’s) finally caught Jang (9-2, 3 KO’s) with a crushing left hook then finished off the Korean with a right-left combo.