Unbeaten Pinoy Dato stops Lopez in 5th round
LAS VEGAS, USA – United States-based Filipino John Leo Dato caught Mexican Juan Antonio Lopez with a solid body shot to win by 5th round knockout in the opener of the Manny Pacquiao-Keith Thurman tussle for World Boxing Association welterweight supremacy on Saturday, July 20 (Sunday, 21, Philippine time) at MGM Grand Garden Arena
The 26-year-old Dato, born in Bangar, La Union, now residing in Santa Maria, California, stretched his win run to 12 with 1 draw and 8 knockouts.
Living up to his ‘The Lion’ moniker and reputation as a brawler, Dato attacked fiercely from the get-go and floored Lopez (14-7) in the 1st round of the featherweight fight with a right hook.
The Mexican lefty survived Dato’s onslaught from the 2nd to the 4th rounds, but was tagged again by a wicked right and crumbled on all fours to the canvas. He was counted out at the 2:05 mark.
Dato, who weighed in at 127.5 pounds, was accompanied by a throng of supporters wearing jackets with Team Dato inscription at the back in his first stint in this hot, glitzy city.
A late starter in boxing, the 5-foot-6 Dato turned pro in 2016, but is catching up with 5 fights in 2018 and 3 this year thus far.
Dato is honing up his skills at Balderas Boxing School under the guidance of Tony Ojeda and another trainer.
Like any other rising Filipino boxer, Dato is drawing inspiration from his idol, Pacquiao.
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