CEBU-based fighter Ciso Morales bit off more than he could chew and got whipped by Mexican world champion Fernando “Chochulito” Montiel in their bantamweight fight in Pinoy Power 3 yesterday in Las Vegas.

Montiel retained his WBO bantamweight title and stopped Morales, who is trained by Nonito Donaire Sr., with a bone-crunching left hook to the body in 2:06 of the first round.

Click here for stories and updates on the Sinulog 2010 Festival.

Montiel improved to 40-2-2 with 30 KOs, while the 22-year-old youngster from Talibon, Bohol fell to 14-1 with eight KOs.

Montiel is now 2-0 against Filipinos, having beaten Z Gorres by a controversial split decision in 2007.

Gorres, who has retired from boxing after suffering a life-threatening head injury, was at the event along with Manny Pacquiao.

In the main event, Nonito Donaire Jr. knocked out late replacement Manuel Vargas in the third round to retain the WBA interim super flyweight championship.

The Filipino controlled the bout throughout before flooring Vargas for good with a solid right uppercut at 1:33 in the third.

“It was a matter of relaxing and working my game plan,” Donaire said. “I went side to side, leading with the jab, then landed that hard uppercut.”

Donaire was supposed to fight Gerson Guerrero but the Mexican failed a pre-fight physical.

Eric Morel also earned a split-decision victory against Gerry Peñalosa in a WBO interim bantamweight title fight. The judges scored it 115-113 and 116-112 in favor of

Morel and 115-113 for Peñalosa.

Meanwhile, Pacquiao’s ward Bernabe Concepcion earned the right to challenge undefeated WBO featherweight titlist Juan Manuel Lopez after a unanimous decision win over Puerto Rican Mario Santiago.

The judges had it 98-91, 96-93 and 97-92 all for the 22-year-old hard-hitting Filipino fighter.

Concepcion is now 28-3-1 with 15 KOs, while Santiago dropped to 21-2-1 with 14 KOs.

ALA boy Mark Jason Melligen bounced back from a previous loss after winning a sixth round stoppage over erstwhile unbeaten Raymond Gatica.

Referee Kenny Bayless stopped the bout in 2:36 of round six after Gatica was sent to the canvas by the 23-year-old Melligen.

Melligen rose to 17-2 with 13 KO’s while Gatico dropped to 11-1 with six KOs. (EKA/With a report from AP)