MANILA, Philippines – Jeo Santisima got nailed by a right, but he wasn’t groggy nor wobbly.
Imagine his surprise when the referee stepped in and halted the bout, rewarding Joet Gonzalez with a technical knockout victory and the World Boxing Organization international featherweight title at Save Mart Center in Fresno, California on Friday, March 4 (Saturday, March 5, Philippine time).
The sudden end of the scheduled 10-rounder came at the 2:05 mark of the ninth round when Edward Collantes, the third man on the ring, thought the Filipino was receiving too many head blows from Gonzalez, an American of Mexican descent.
Santisima did get tagged by head blows in the eighth round, leaving him with a swelling on the right cheek and blood on his nose, prompting Collantes to warn him of a stoppage if the next round turns out to be the same.
It happened prematurely, with Brendan Gibbons, son of MP (Manny Pacquiao) Promotions president Sean Gibbons, seen vehemently protesting to Collantes in a video clip.
The favored Gonzalez rebounded from a lopsided unanimous decision loss to WBO featherweight champion Emanuel Navarrete in October 2021 and raised his record to 25-2 with 15 knockouts.
Santisima, fighting out of Sanman Promotions and supported by MP Promotions, fell to 21-4 with 18 knockouts.
In February 2020, Santisima also challenged Navarrete and got stopped in the 11th round.
If any consolation, many fans, including Mexicans and Americans also disagreed with the referee’s stoppage, approaching and asking for photo-ops with Santisima on his way to the dugout.
Following a tight sixth round, where they gamely traded shots, Gonzalez took the seventh round when he landed uppercuts and a left hook to the body. – Rappler.com