Filipino boxers

Moralde, Baconaje flunk tests for titles

Roy Luarca
Moralde, Baconaje flunk tests for titles

OVERPOWERED. Filipino fighter John Vincent Moralde (right) yields to unbeaten Mexican William Zepeda.

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

John Vincent Moralde may have to forget his dreams of becoming a world champion as he suffers a third knockout loss, while Arnel Baconaje also fails in his own bid

Pitted against unbeaten prospect William Zepeda, John Vincent Moralde gradually faded and eventually dropped his quest for the World Boxing Association Continental Americas lightweight belt on Saturday, November 13 (Sunday, November 14, Philippine time) at the Honda Center in Los Angeles, California.

Stronger, better, and busier, Zepeda was pounding a hapless Moralde with heavy punches at the corner when the referee called a halt at the 1 minute and 59 seconds mark of the fourth round.

Living up to hype as Mexico’s next big star, Zepeda cruised to his 14th straight knockout win for a fearsome 24-0 record with only two opponents going the distance.

Moralde slid to 24-5 with 13 knockouts and may have to forget his dreams of becoming a world champion. Given many chances by Sanman Promotions head JC Manangquil to prove his mettle, Moralde fell short against stellar opposition.

It was Moralde’s fifth loss in his last 10 bouts and his third straight knockout defeat.

The 27-year-old Moralde, who won his first 19 pro bouts, yielded to Xavier Martinez in three rounds in 2019 and to Jose Enrique Durantes Vivas in one round last year.

Moralde did put up a brave stand but got overwhelmed by the power-punching, slick-moving Zepeda.

Over in Russia, Arnel Baconaje also failed in his bid for the vacant World Boxing Council ABC super lightweight title against Ivan Kozlovsky at the Sibir Boxing Academy in Novosibirsk.

Baconaje got stopped in the fifth round to tumble to 14-5 with 11 knockouts while Kozlovsky, a former world youth champion, improved to 4-0 with 2 knockouts. ā€“ Rappler.com