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Astrolabio scores KO win over Potapov, nears world title fight

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VINCENT ASTROLABIO has proven himself a different fighter now than the last time he beat Cuban former world champion Guillermo Rigondeaux.

Astrolabio under the tutelage of trainer coach Nonoy Neri delivered a huge sixth-round knockout victory over Russian Nikolai Potapov over the weekend at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas in Nevada.

Astrolabio, 25, controlled the early rounds before flooring his 32-year-old foe in the fifth round with a left hook and hitting him with a right straight in the sixth round that ended their International Boxing Federation (IBF) bantamweight eliminator fight with 1:34 remaining.

He delivered a flurry of punches to the retreating Potapov who was badly hurt in the last two rounds.

It’s going to be a big break for Astrolabio’s career to become a world champion next year because Japanese unified bantamweight world champion Naoya Inoue would be vacating the IBF, WBO, World Boxing Association and World Boxing Council belts to climb up soon to 122-pound category.

“It’s absolutely huge for his career,” international matchmaker and Manny Pacquiao’s MP Promotions President Sean Gibbons told BusinessMirror on Monday, adding that the General Santos City could be competing next either for vacant IBF or World Boxing Organization bantamweight belts.

“Soon Philippines will have a new world champion and Vincent has a great opportunity to get either the IBF or WBO belt, as Inoue will go up to the super bantamweight class.”

WBO President Paco Valcarcel, according to Gibbons, congratulated Astrolabio (18-3 record with 13 knockouts) for giving Manny Pacquiao a nice birthday gift on his 44th birthday last Saturday (December 17) in General Santos City.

“Nice birthday gift to Team Pacquiao, sixth-round KO victory for the Filipino Astrolabio and probably the opportunity to fight for the World Boxing Organization world title,” Valcarcel announced.

Potapov fell to a 23-3-1 record with 11 knockouts.

Astrolabio created a buzz early this year after scoring a unanimous decision win over Rigondeaux highlighted by his eight-round knockdown last February 26 in Dubai. He is also the first Filipino to score a knockdown against Rigondeaux.

Read full article on BusinessMirror

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