Drian Francisco moved a step closer to a dream world championship belt following a fifth round technical knockout of Panamanian Ricardo Nunez Saturday night in their World Boxing Association (WBA) title eliminator match at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.
The end came when the 27-year old Francisco rocked Nunez with a big left, and then followed it up with a barrage of punches that knocked the Panamanian flat on his back.
Official time was 2:52 of the fifth round.
“Hindi ko ini-expect na mapapabagsak ko siya, pero napakatibay din (I didn’t expect that I’ll knock him out but he is also tough)," said the unbeaten Filipino super-flyweight, now 19-0 with 15 KOs.
The impressive win by the native of Sablayan, Mindoro Occidental lined him up for a possible shot at the WBA title currently held by Nobuo Nashiro of Japan.
Portent of things to come were evident the moment Francisco, nicknamed “Gintong Kamao" (Golden Fists), wobbled and floored Nunez with a left in the opening seconds of the first round.
Nunez, 22, however, shook off the effect of being knocked down and was back on his feet a few seconds later.
Yet, he was back in the canvass again a few moments afterward, and was lucky enough to survive the round and the onslaught of the hard-hitting Filipino.
Then early in the fifth, a Francisco left sent Nunez reeling again. Although the Panamanian was able to beat the 10-count once more, the Filipino eagerly swarmed all over him for the finishing touches to a dominant performance.
“Sana nga (Hopefully)," was Francisco’s curt reply when asked if a world title fight is in store for him next.
Nunez suffered his second loss in 19 fights, 18 of which he won by knockout. – GMANews.TV