NO SECOND round knockout came but Ronald "The American Dream" Johnson still lived up to his other promise by coming out victorious against Saul "The Phoenix Assassin" Farah of Bolivia to clinch the vacant Global Boxing Organization (GBO) World heavyweight championship title via unanimous decision at The Enderun Tent, Azuela Cove in Lanang, Davao City past midnight Sunday, June 16.
Former World Boxing Council United States (USNBC) light heavyweight champion Johnson, 33, who earlier predicted to knockout Farah in the second round targeted the South American heavyweight champion's jaw from the start, scoring on two knockdowns in the first round.
Everybody else thought the knockout would follow in the next round but the resilient warrior in Farah endured hard punches thrown at him as he also countered it with some powerful jabs to Johnson's body, leaving the latter momentarily groggy in the second round.
What followed then in their 12-round clash was uneventful but the American clearly dominated most of it by sneaking in punches against his opponent while Farah made attempts for a comeback but could barely sustain it.
Judges scored their bout 118-108, 120-106 and 116-110, all favoring Johnson whose record improved to 16 wins, one draw and zero loss while Farah droppped to 69-3-24.
"I really tried to knock him out as I said but I just couldn't. My hats off to Saul for being such a great fighter," the new world champion said after his belt was awarded to him by former senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos, Jr., Games and Amusement Board (GAB) chairman Abraham Mitra and Red Boxing International chairman Rey Rodis in the per invitation event. Cong. Anton Lagdameo, Jr. was also present during the awarding.
In the supporting main events, Aries Buenavidez captured the vacant GBO Asia-Pacific Youth bantamweight championship title via unanimous decision win over Roy Nagulman of Ifugao while Davao City's Joe Tejones annexed the GBO-Asia Pacific junior lightweight championship title by beating KJ Natuplag of Bukidnon in a split decision.
In the undercard, Orlie Selvestre defeated Jenuel Lausa via unanimous decision in their eight-round 113 pounds bout while Reymark Ebones subdued Royder Borbon in their six-round 113 pounds. However, Gabriel Dasan and Nilo Entero figured in a technical split draw in the four-round 109 pounds collision.