By Jake Donovan
Whatever questions surrounding Terry Flanagan's claim as a lightweight champion were emphatically answered in his first title defense. The unbeaten Mancuniun thoroughly annhilated Diego Magdaleno, flooring the Las Vegas-based contender three times en route to a 2nd round stoppage Saturday evening at home in Manchester, England.
Magdaleno never seemed to have his proper balance at any point in the brief affair, slipping to the canvas in the opening round and again early in round two. Flanagan didn't seem to have any problem remaining upright, or finding his inviting target.
A boxing match turned into a one-sided free-for-fall in round two, at which points Magdaleno could no longer maintain pace. Flanagan scored the first of three knockdowns on the round, flooring the American southpaw with a right hook.
The expression on Magdaleno's face suggested looming disaster. Still, Flanagan remained composed at all times, sticking to boxing in looking to set up his power shots. An uppercut ("a peach of an uppercut" as described by the BoxNation broadcast team in the United Kingdom) had Magdaleno on rubber legs, with Flanagan once again sending him to the canvas.
Referee Terry O'Connor did his best to let the action continue, even affording Magdaleno a fighting chance after going down for a third time on the night. A follow-up flurry by Flanagan eventually forced the third man to intervene and stop the onslaught.
The official time was 2:38 of round two.
Flanagan improves - in every sense of the word - to 29-0 (12KOs) with the win, marking his first successful title defense. The 26-year old won the belt under bizarre circumstances, scoring a 2nd round stoppage over Jose Zepeda in their vacant title fight in July. The bout was stopped after Zepeda suffered a dislocated shoulder and was unable to continue.
The first defense produced a far more conclusive ending, one that will leave a bitter taste in the mouth of the challenger.
Magdaleno falls to 28-2 (12KOs), falling miserably short in his second attempt at a major title. The Vegas-based boxer was denied the super featherweight crown in a narrow points loss to Roman Martinez in April '13. Five straight wins followed, his last four coming under the tutelage of Joel Diaz.
The bout aired live on BoxNation in the United Kingdom and beIN Sport in the United States.
Jake Donovan is the managing editor of BoxingScene.com.
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