By CARLO ANOLIN
Undefeated Filipino Jade Bornea unloaded a hefty liver shot on the way to a third round knockout win over Mohammad Obbadi in their IBF junior bantamweight title eliminator Friday, Jan. 14 (Saturday in Manila) in Monterrey, Mexico.
After putting heavy pressure on Obbadi, Bornea took his sweet time for a counter right hook before unleashing a solid left uppercut on the midsection, leaving the Moroccan boxer grimacing in pain on the canvas.
Obbadi took the full count at the 1:25 mark of the third round as Bornea remained unbeaten in 17 matches on top of his 10 knockouts.
It was all Bornea from the second round but the third frame proved to be instrumental for the Filipino after landing more significant shots before timing the knockdown-turned-knockout.
The 26-year-old Bornea threw solid right hooks which forced Obbadi to pull back and adjust until the Filipino landed the counter right and the left uppercut finisher.
Obbadi fell to a 22-2 record with 13 KOs.
Interestingly, compatriot Jerwin Ancajas has been keeping the IBF junior-bantamweight title for 10 straight wins since capturing it last September 2016.
Ancajas is set to face Argentine foe Fernando Daniel Martinez reportedly next month with the final venue yet to be announced.
With Bornea’s win, he has become the No. 1 IBF contender and the mandatory challenger between the winner of the Ancajas-Martinez bout.