American boxer Joet Gonzales worked on the inside and charged in with power punches to overwhelm Filipino Jeo Santisima and capture the World Boxing Organization (WBO) International featherweight belt in their 10-round bout at the Save Mart Arena, in Fresno, California Friday, March 4 there (Saturday in Manila).

(Top Rank)

Gonzales scored a ninth-round technical knockout win over Santisima as referee Edward Collantes, in a shocking turn of events, halted the match at the 2:05 mark.

The Californian native boxer landed a solid counter overhand right which stunned Santisima for a bit but the Filipino remained standing still and ready to brawl.

Santisima and his corner were in shock upon Collantes’ decision to stop the match but a warning after the eight-round was already issued due to lack of defense and the damage endured by the Filipino.

Gonzales was consistent with his jab, punishing Santisima from all angles with his precise inside boxing and tactical counterpunches.

In the seventh round, Gonzales unleashed fireworks and threw booming power punches but Santisima remained unfazed all throughout.

Gonzales, still in assault mode, worked on the inside once more and landed clean headshots with overhands and hooks.

With little head movement coming from Santisima, Gonzales fired a couple of combinations with 30 seconds left in the eight.

It was after that round when Collantes issued the warning as the Aroroy, Masbate native pugilist sustained swollen eyes and bloodied nose but insisted to push through with the decisive ninth round.

In the first few rounds, the MP Promotions-backed boxer showed great discipline by keeping his distance accompanied with zapping jabs and powerful body shots.

Gonzales, however, leveled Santisima’s strategy and traded punches with the Filipino until he found the much-needed momentum heading into the fifth.

Gonzales, 28, improved to a 25-2 record on top of 15 KOs while Santisima, 25, suffered the fourth defeat of his career with 21 wins and 18 KOs.

Source: Manila Bulletin (