By Rick Reeno
Thomas & Mack Center, Las Vegas - Jessie Magdaleno (24-0, 17KOs) won a twelve round unanimous decision over Nonito Donaire (37-4, 24KOs) to capture the WBO super bantamweight championship. The scores were 116-112, 116-112, 118-110.
They felt each other out in the first round. There wasn't much being done by either fighter. Magdanelo was applying a lot more pressure, while Donaire was trying to find his range.
Magdaleno began to open up a little more in the second, throwing and landing some decent punches. Donaire, who wasn't troubled by anything he got caught with, was trying to adjust to Magdaleno's speed. Donaire was just a tad off on his counters, but he was getting closer and closer as the distance began to close.
Donaire was starting to get to the target in the third, pushing Magdaleno back with punches but not landing them flush enough to make a real dent. Donaire was jumping in with his punches in the fourth, now pressing forward at all times and had Magdaleno on the back-foot. A cut opened up above the left eye of Magdaleno. It wasn't clear if it was caused by a punch or a clash of heads.
The fifth was a chess match. Both fighters were a little more cautious and picking their punches with care. That pace didn't last too long, as there was little care in the sixth when they decided to trade punches. Nothing of note landed, yet Magdaleno had the edge in connects. Magdaleno with the edge in the seventh, circling and boxing as Donaire was following him around the ring and looking to land.
The left side of Donaire's face was swelling up as they entered the eight. Magdaleno was catching Donaire coming in, with shots landing to the head and body. The ninth was more of the same with Donaire having trouble with Magdaleno's movement and his faster hands.
In the ninth, Magdaleno put a beating on Donaire in the final minute. He was battering him in the final minute with big punches from both hands as Donaire was against the ropes. At the start of the tenth, Donaire came out like a man on a mission to turn the tide. Magdaleno was still outlanding him when it counted. Donaire was doing mcuh better than in previous rounds.
Donaire was landing some very good punches at the start of the eleventh. Magdaleno was able to punch his way out of trouble. Donaire was rallying, sensing that he was behind on the cards. The action was close and Donaire had the edge. The twelfth and final round was a chess match at the start. Donaire's face was swollen on both sides and he was trying to land a homerun shot that just couldn't connect in full. He was outlanding Magdaleno and landing the better shots to close strong.