Rey Loreto, with his record of 17-13, didn't figure to be much of a threat to the rebounding Nkosinathi Joyi Saturday, at least if you were just going by his number of wins and losses. But records can be decieving: Loreto was coming off a win over Pornsawan Popramook. And boy howdy, was Loreto ever a threat to Joyi, whom he stopped in the 3rd round in Monte Carlo on the undercard of Gennady Golovkin's main event.
Joyi, a former top strawweight, had lost by knockout to Mario Rodriguez in 2012 and then again in 2013 by split decision to Hekkie Budler for the only two losses of his career. Seeking solace in a higher division, junior flyweight, he got back on the winning track in the back half of last year. And he started that way, too, taking the fight to Loreto through most of the first two rounds.
But toward the end of the 2nd, Loreto teed off on Joyi with a series of hard lefts that nearly left Joyi unconscious at the end of the bell. It didn't take long into the 3rd for Loreto to catch Joyi with another massive left, one that put the South African in a deep slumber. It was one of those "Knockout of the Year" kinds.
So after two straight quality wins (albeit over fighters who were on the comeback trail), Loreto just made himself the next Filipino fighter to watch and see if he can do it again.