Filipino boxer Jonas Sultan hammered four huge knockdowns to defeat Puerto Rican knockout artist Carlos Caraballo by unanimous decision and capture the WBO Intercontinental bantamweight title at the Hulu Theater of Madison Square Garden in New York City Saturday night, Oct 30 (Sunday morning, Oct. 31 in Manila).
All three judges scored 94-93 in favor of Sultan in their 10-round action-packed showdown as the MP (Manny Pacquiao) Promotions bet showed tenacity and sturdiness against Caraballo’s heavy punches.
After back-to-back knockdowns in the second and third round, Sultan scored another one in the sixth as Caraballo also threw a couple of punches back on the Filipino.
Just when Caraballo caught up with Sultan in the following rounds, unloading crisps left hooks with his headhunting, the Filipino warrior caught him off guard with a feint right before closing in a strong counter left hook at the 1:40 mark of the ninth round for his fourth and decisive knockdown.
The Zamboanga del Norte native boxer followed up his momentum changer with a last-second flurry before the bell.
The tenth, though deemed as one of the most crucial rounds, had a slower pace with both fighters gassed out and exhausted from the power-punching and continuous trade of blows.
Sultan, however, still scored much with his powerful combinations as Caraballo, the protege of former world champion Miguel Cotto, responded with a couple of left hooks.
Sultan, 29, rolled on to his third straight win and improved to an 18-5 record on top of 11 knockouts while Caraballo, 25, suffered the first loss of his four-year professional boxing career with 14 wins all coming from KOs.