CEBU, Philippines – WBO junior featherweight champ Nonito Donaire Jr and Hungarian challenger Zsolt Bedak both checked in under the 122-pound weight limit on Friday, April 22 ahead of their 12-round title fight at the Cebu City Sports Center on Saturday.
Donaire (36-3, 23 knockouts) weighed in at 121.75 pounds while Bedak (25-1, 8 KOs) was a quarter pound lighter at 121.5. The fight is Donaire’s first defense of the junior featherweight title he won in December while Bedak is fighting outside of Europe for the first time since his 2010 technical knockout loss to Wilfredo Vazquez Jr.
Flanked by Top Rank event producer Brad Jacobs, Donaire appeared upbeat and energetic before jumping on the scales, even grabbing the microphone to work up the crowd at Ayala Center Cebu beforehand. Bedak, who is a year younger than Donaire at 32, was quiet but professional, entertaining photo requests from fans while promising to give it his best shot despite being a significant underdog.
The most heated pair on the scales was between featherweights Mark Magsayo (13-0, 10 KOs) and American fringe contender Chris Avalos. Magsayo and Avalos both weighed 125 pounds and riled up the crowd with a tense staredown. Magsayo parted with a throat slash gesture before the first serious step-up of his 3-year pro career.
Mark Magsayo and Chris Avalos with a heated staredown at the weigh-in. This is the fight of the night #rstream pic.twitter.com/ANjhvOCVKF— Ryan Songalia (@ryansongalia) April 22, 2016
Avalos, 26, of Lancaster, California is seeking to prove that he is still a title contender after losing two of his last 3 fights by stoppage against Carl Frampton and Oscar Valdez, The 20-year-old Magsayo is seeking a statement-making win which will put him on the map of the world stage, but his promoter Michael Aldeguer of ALA Promotions isn’t entirely confident of what will happen in his first 12-round fight.
“It’s a big risk for Mark, big risk for ALA and a big risk for the Philippines if Mark can’t carry the torch after Pacquiao, Donaire or Nietes. So we gotta know. The only way to find out is to put him up against a fighter who can test him. We really don’t know. If he doesn’t make it, he’s still young, we’ll bring him back. But how he performs tomorrow, it’s up to him,” said Aldeguer.
In other televised fights, junior welterweight Jason Pagara (37-2, 23 KOs) and Miguel Zamudio (35-8-1, 21 KOs) of Guasave, Mexico both weighed 143 pounds for their fight. Pagara of Cagayan de Oro City is the number one rated contender by the WBO in his weight while 7 of Zamudio’s 8 losses have been by knockout.
Also on the card, Australian junior lightweight Paul Fleming (21-0, 14 KOs) weighed 129 and Mexican Miguel Angel Gonzalez (22-7-1, 12 KOs) weighed 130. – Rappler.com
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