Jessie Magdaleno (28-1, 18 KOs) came through a foul-filled ten rounder at a catchweight of 128 pounds, to take a decision against the wild Yenifel Vicente (36-5-2, 28 KOs), on the second Top Rank bill of the week inside ’The Bubble’ at the MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas.
22 of Vicente’s 28 knockout wins had come inside three rounds, and the Dominican had never previously been stopped, so the early sessions were crucial for Magdaleno to stay focused.
The former WBO Super Bantamweight champion took centre ring with a rapid combination to show his intent. Other than that, the opener was cagey until, with just over a minute remaining, a short Magdaleno left to the body was followed by a swift right hook to the head that floored Vicente on impact to put him on the deck for only the second time in his career.
The Las Vegas resident was measured in his approach upon the restart, and whipped in body shots to earn his foe’s respect. The knockdown clearly limited the visitor’s confidence, and he was boxing a lot more cautiously in he second, allowing Magdaleno to dictate matters.
When the two did exchange, Magdaleno was having he last word with quick fire combination work. Vicente was struggling to get inside, and the third saw the home favourite continue to control proceedings.
Round four saw the first moment of controversy, as Vicente became more and more desperate. He trapped Magdaleno on the ropes, firing a blow that was clearly south of the border and while referee Robert Byrd called a break for the foul, Vicente connected with a power right hand on an unguarded Magdaleno.
The 28-year-old laid motionless on the canvas and was physically in pain as the officials deliberated on how to proceed. This gave Magdaleno five minutes in which to recover and he returned to his feet on unsteady legs, but was deemed fit to continue, as Vicente was deducted two points for the infringement.
The incident had clearly benefited Vicente, as he went on the attack from the restart, but another low blow saw a third point in the round deducted.
Magdaleno cleared his head and went back to work in the fifth and a perfectly timed counter right hook floored Vicente. Again he rose and continued, with the bell coming to his rescue.
The pattern was set though, with Magdaleno simply too quick for his opponent and Vicente having to chase and force openings that simply were not there.
The frustration eventually boiled over in the final round, with yet another low blow, this time a right hand, landed, and another point was taken from Vicente, who was clearly on his final warning. The warning wasn’t heeded though, as just over a minute later Vicente was finally disqualified for another blatant low shot.
“I wasn’t going to let him get in my head,” Magdaleno said post-fight.
“He was a rugged fighter, a tough veteran, and I tip my hat to him. He knew what he was doing. His way was to get me low”.
It was clear who Magdaleno is targeting for a future contest, with the WBC title his aim, as well as the other belts on offer at Featherweight.
“Gary Russell (Jr), I’m coming for you,” Magdaleno added.
“I want any of the champions at 126 pounds, I want to be a two division world champion, simple as that”.
The card was a much more competitive one compared to Tuesday’s offering, and the show stealer was the show opener, where Adam Lopez (14-2, 6 KOs) took a majority decision over Luis Coria (12-3, 7 KOs) to claim the vacant NABF Featherweight crown in a thriller.
Two scores of 96-94 won the contest for Lopez, who bounced back from his defeat to Oscar Valdez, with a third at 95-95 reflecting how close a contest it was.
There was another thriller at Lightweight, where both Eric Mondragon (3-0-1, 2 KOs) and Mike Danny Sanchez (6-0-1, 2 KOs) remained unbeaten in a four round draw in which both men were floored in the first round.
Bantamweight prospect Gabriel Muratalla (3-0, 3 KOs) took less than a round to stop Fernando Robles (2-3).
The 26-year-old connected with a hard combination that dropped Robles, who rose on shaky legs to give the referee no option but to wave the fight off.
Top Rank return with a third show on Tuesday night, as Bantamweight talent Joshua Greer Jr tackles Mike Plania at the MGM Grand.