Thomas & Mack Center, Las Vegas - Jessie Magdaleno seized the WBO junior featherweight title with a unanimous decision over Nonito Donaire of the Philippines in an entertaining fight that saw one judge score it 118-110 for Magdaleno while the other two had the American winning 116-112.
"It feels great to be a champion," said Magdaleno. "I can't believe this right now. I have worked so hard for this. I can't believe I beat a fighter like Donaire. I don't have words to describe it."
Undefeated Magdaleno grew up in Las Vegas but was fighting with Mexico printed on his red and black trunks and was serenaded by chants of “Mexico, Mexico” several times during the fight.
Coming into the fight, Magdaleno was the number one contender, having won eight of his last 10 fights by knockout.
Donaire suffered just the fourth loss of his career despite doing well at the end of rounds late in the fight. Donaire looked flat in the contest at times and wasn't letting his hands go. Magdaleno's hand speed was creating a lot of problems for Donaire, who was having some trouble adjusting.
In the 10th, the Filipino wobbled Magdaleno with hard right punches at the beginning and end of the round. The two traded heavy blows in the 12th with the crowd on its feet for the final round.
Donaire was shocked when Magdaleno was announced as the winner.
"I definitely won the fight. Losing never crossed my mind,” said Donaire. “I never thought I could lose this. I had a great second half and I thought I controlled the fight. This is unbelievable."
Donaire's trainer, Ismael Salas, agreed with his fighter. He also feels the victory was clear for his boxer.
"We got control of the fight in the second half and clearly won the fight," the trainer said.