By Keith Idec
Another Filipino southpaw won by knockout Saturday night before Manny Pacquiao challenged Lucas Matthysse.
Unbeaten featherweight Jhack Tepora stopped Mexico’s Edivaldo Ortega in the ninth round of their fight for a vacant version of the WBA’s featherweight championship. Tepora (22-0, 17 KOs) dropped Ortega (26-2-1, 12 KOs) with a right uppercut in the ninth round on the Pacquiao-Matthysse undercard at Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Ortega reached his feet, but referee Roberto Ramirez Jr. stopped the fight soon thereafter. The time of the stoppage was 2:38 of the ninth round in a fight that largely lacked action before that ninth round.
There was a break in the action with 1:44 remaining in the ninth round to fix tape on one of Tepora’s gloves. Soon after the action resumed, Tepora knocked Ortega into the ropes with a right hook.
Tepora landed a short right uppercut that dropped Ortega with 1:06 to go in the ninth. Ortega got up, but Tepora pounced on him.
Tepora landed a left-right combination that knocked Ortega into the ropes. A few seconds later, Ramirez stepped in to stop Ortega from taking more punishment.
Tepora won the third version of the WBA’s featherweight title, its interim 126-pound championship.
Puerto Rico’s Jesus Rojas (26-1-2, 19 KOs) knocked out the Dominican Republic’s Claudio Marrero (23-2, 17 KOs) in the seventh round September 15 in Las Vegas to win the WBA’s interim featherweight title. The WBA elevated Rojas to its world featherweight champion recently because its former world featherweight champ, Abner Mares, lost to Leo Santa Cruz by unanimous decision in their 12-round rematch June 9 at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Santa Cruz (35-1-1, 19 KOs) is the WBA’s “super” featherweight champ. Rojas will defend the WBA’s world featherweight title against Joseph Diaz Jr. (26-1, 14 KOs) on August 11 in Los Angeles.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.