Filipino boxer Vincent Astrolabio scored a huge knockdown in the eighth round against Cuban foe Guillermo Rigondeaux to capture the WBC International bantamweight belt at the Dubai Marina in Dubai, United Arab Emirates Saturday, Feb. 26 there (Sunday in Manila).

Vincent Astrolabio (right) and Guillermo Rigondeaux (left) (WBC Asia)

Astrolabio, throwing in powerful body shots and crisp combinations, caught Rigondeaux off with a zooming right uppercut with a minute left in the eighth round — the first time in their bout where the Cuban veteran seemed to be fazed and hurt.

All three judges scored 95-94 for a convincing unanimous decision win in favor of Astrolabio.

Astrolabio used his speed and energy to land body shots after body shots while Rigondeaux, who is coming from a loss against WBC bantamweight champion John Riel Casimero, displayed his classic defensive and tactical boxing against the Filipino.

The eighth round proved to be the game-changer of the night as Astrolabio connected a left jab first before closing in with the right uppercut that sent the 41-year-old Rigondeaux, a two-time Olympic gold medalist, down the canvas.

Astrolabio still dominated the remaining rounds especially in the tenth and last round where he landed another solid right jab to haul more points.

Earlier in the fourth and fifth rounds, the 24-year-old boxer hailing from General Santos City, the hometown of no less than Filipino legend and Senator Manny Pacquiao, also showed what youth is all about in boxing with smart combinations and body shots.

The Filipino boxer also showed an exciting opening round after overwhelming Rigondeaux with similar combinations.

Astrolabio improved to a 17-3 record on top of 12 knockouts and extended his win streak to five since April 2019.

Rigondeaux, for his part, suffered his second straight defeat and fell to a 20-3 record with 13 KOs.

Meanwhile, another Filipino boxer in Adrian Lerasan (11-4, 4 KOs) bagged the WBC Asian Boxing Council super-flyweight title after scoring a seventh-round technical knockout win over Thai opponent Phongsaphan Panyakum in Bangkok, Thailand.

Source: Manila Bulletin (