Davao City – Ronald “The American Dream” Johnson lived up to his billing as the top favorite when he outclassed Bolivian Saul Farah via unanimous decision to claim the GBO heavyweight title, Saturday night dubbed as “Thrilla in Davao” at the Azuela Cove, here.
Despite knocking Farah twice in the first round, the Cleveland-native Johnson managed to convince the judges to a 118-108, 120-106 and 116-110 unanimous win to now sport a 16 win-0 loss-0 draw- personal tally.
“Saul is a great warrior…very tough, he deserves my respect,” said Johnson, who earlier boasted to take his opponent down in two rounds.
In other matches, Aries Buenavidez was named GBO Asia Pacific Youth bantamweight champion via unanimous decision over Roy Nagulman of Ilocos with scores of 117-110, 114-113 and 115-112 while Joe Tejones of Wowie Lalanto Stable crowned himself as the new GBO Asia Pacific Jr. lightweight king on a split decision over KJ Natuplag of Ilocos with cards of 116-112, 109-119 and 117-111.
Promoter Rey Rodis of RED Boxing Int’l thanked the City of Davao, particularly Mayor Sara Duterte and her staff, for the assistance the city government extended to the boxing promotion.
“This is the very first world heavyweight championship held in our city and the success of Thrilla in Davao exemplifies the capability of the city government to host sports events of this magnitude. Daghang Salamat, Mayor Sara, daghang salamat Davaoenos,” Rodis, a native of Davao City, said.