Fajardo wrests OPBF light flyweight strap with shocking 1st round TKO of favored Gabunilas

By: Glendale G. Rosal - CDN Digital Correspondent | August 16,2023 - 03:40 PM


Miel Fajardo and his team celebrate after he knocked out John Paul Gabunilas in the first round of their OPBF light flyweight title showdown on Tuesday night at the Hoops Dome. | By Glendale Rosal

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Miel “Silent Assassin” Fajardo shocked Philippine boxing after scoring a first-round technical knockout of John Paul “Angas ng Cebu” Gabunilas in the main event of “Engkwentro 11: Prospects Collide” on Tuesday evening, August 15, 2023, at the Hoops Dome in Lapu-Lapu City.

Fajardo, the unofficial record holder of the world’s fastest knockout in boxing, floored Gabunilas twice in the opening round before referee Tony Pesons stopped the contest at exactly one minute into the first round.

Fajardo won by technical knockout and wrested the vacant Oriental and Pacific Boxing Federation (OPBF) light flyweight title in the process.

The 23-year-old Fajardo, a native of Agusan del Sur almost duplicated his fastest knockout record when he decked Gabunilas with a right overhand for the first knockdown.

A groggy Gabunilas barely beat referee Tony Peson’s count but Fajardo went for the kill and downed Gabunilas again with a jarring left hook. Gabunilas stood up and continued to fight, but Pesons counted him for the second knockdown.

Gabunilas slightly recovered with the brief rest, only to get tagged again with a left hook that ultimately ended the bout.

Even Fajardo was completely surprised by his short win that stunned the crowd which packed the Hoops Dome.

“Wala to sa akong plano nga humanon dayon. Ang amo ato kay mo dula sa gyud mi, tapos, kung makakita ug benta. Nakakita ko ug bakante sa iyang depensa mao to nga naigo siya,” Fajardo explained.

“Na surprise gyud ko nga ing-ato kadali. Na surprise ko sa akong nabuhat kay wala ko nag plano nga ma ing-ato ang result kay nag ensayo ra ba sad akong kontra. Wala gyud ko magdahom,” said Fajardo who owned the unofficial fastest KO record in boxing with a seven-second stoppage.


Fajardo’s coach, Ericxon Asilo said that part of their game plan is to go for a knockout win to prevent a hometown decision but said he never expected it to be that quick.

“Yun ang gameplan namin, pinapalaro ko yung bata ko, hindi ko ginagawang fighter, gusto ko distansya at timing para makuha mo at para diretsuhin mo na,” said Asilo.

“Hindi namin pwedeng patagalin, mahirap eh, dumayo lang kami, ganun din sa ibang bansa, kailangan tapusin agad pag may chance.”

Fajardo improved to 11 wins with 10 knockouts, one loss, and two draws. He is planning to defend his title in Japan later this year if offers come knocking on the door.

Gabunilas dropped to a 10-2 (win-loss) with seven knockouts.   /rcg


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TAGS: boxing, Fajardo, Gabunilas, Hoops Dome, Lapu-Lapu City, OPBF

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