Donaire beats Mathebula in unification bout

Nonito Donaire added Jeffrey Mathebula's International Boxing Federation super bantamweight title to his own World Boxing Organization belt with a 12-round unanimous decision.

Filipino star Donaire improved to 29-1 with 18 knockouts, winning his 28th straight fight in a streak dating back to 2001.

He retained the WBO crown he won in February in a split decision over Puerto Rico's Wilfredo Vazquez.

Donaire was the aggressor against his much taller opponent and dropped South African Mathebula with a devastating left late in the fourth round. It was the first time in his career that the 33-year-old Mathebula had been sent down.

"He didn't expect it. Once he got hit with that, he was like everyone else," Donaire said. "He kept his hands up the rest of the night."

Mathebula, making good use of his height and reach advantage, stayed active, his work rate keeping him in the contest even as Donaire landed the harder blows.

In the 11th, Donaire landed a stinging right to Mathebula's jaw that cracked one of the South African's teeth.

The ringside judges scored it 117-110, 118-109 and 119-108 in favor of Donaire.

"He was a tough guy, I didn't expect him to be... He was faster than I thought," said Donaire. "It was difficult to counter him with the right. If it would have been easy to counter him, it would've been an easy fight.

"He got me off that jab really well," Donaire added. "He's a great champion."

Mathebula fell to 26-4 with two drawn and 14 knockouts. He was making the first defence of the IBF title he won in March in South Africa with a split-decision triumph over compatriot Takalani Ndlovu.

The bout was the first step in what Donaire hopes will be a unification march through the division.

The World Boxing Association super bantamweight belt is held by Guillermo Rigondeaux, a 31-year-old Cuban who is 10-0 as a professional and won Olympic gold in 2000 and 2004.

Mexico's Abner Mares owns the World Boxing Council super bantamweight crown but Donaire has voiced an interest in taking on the man Mares replaced as champion, Japan's Toshiaki Nishioka.

Nishioka, a 35-year-old southpaw, is 39-4 with three drawn and has won 16 fights in a row since last losing in 2004 to Thai legend Veeraphol Sahaprom.

Donaire said he would like to collect one more belt, then move up to 126 pounds.

"We have a lot of guys, like Nishioka, who's a great fighter," Donaire said. "We have Mares, Rigondeaux. One more belt and I'm good to go to 126."

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • China ignores global outcry vs reclamation
    China ignores global outcry vs reclamation

    On Wednesday, G-7 foreign ministers issued a Declaration on Maritime Security expressing alarm over “unilateral actions, such as large scale land reclamation, which change the status quo and increase tensions” in the region. In their communiqué, which did not specifically mention China, the ministers expressed belief that reclamation activities were meant to “change the status quo” in the West Philippine Sea and South China Sea, through which 40 percent of global trade passes. …

  • Project NOAH exec receives recognition
    Project NOAH exec receives recognition

    Project NOAH executive director and University of the Philippines professor Mahar Lagmay recently received recognition from the European Geosciences Union (EGU) for his work in disaster risk reduction and mitigation in the Philippines. …

  • Nightclub ban for US troops
    Nightclub ban for US troops

    The US Pacific Command has banned its troops in the Philippines from bars and nightclubs, a spokesman said yesterday, with the trial under way of a US Marine accused of murdering a transgender Filipino he met in a bar. Thousands of American and Filipino soldiers will kick off tomorrow the 10-day annual military exercises, according to Capt. Alex Lim, a spokesman for the US forces, but there will be strict controls on their free time. Lim would not say why the restrictions were imposed but …

  • US-Phl war games to start under China’s shadow
    US-Phl war games to start under China’s shadow

    Thousands of American and Filipino soldiers will kick off tomorrow expanded wargames, showcasing a deepening  defense alliance as alarm bells ring over China. The 10-day exercises in the Philippines are an annual affair between the longtime allies, but this time they will involve double the number of soldiers as last year in a sign of their expanding military partnership. The Philippines is seeking more US military and diplomatic support to fend off China’s increasing forcefulness in its bid …

  • Palace defends legal tack in sea row
    Palace defends legal tack in sea row

    There is nothing weak about taking the legal and diplomatic approach to push for the country’s claims in the disputed West Philippine Sea, Malacañang maintained yesterday. On Friday, Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares led a rally in front of the Chinese consulate in Makati City to protest China’s massive reclamation activities in the Spratly island group to fortify its presence in the disputed waters. Colmenares also criticized the Philippine government for supposedly not doing enough to defend …

  • Veloso sons urge authorities to save mother from death
    Veloso sons urge authorities to save mother from death

    The sons of Mary Jane Veloso, who is facing execution in Indonesia for drug smuggling, yesterday appealed to government officials to do everything to spare their mother from death. “We love you,” Mark Daniel, 12, said when asked for a message for his mother following a press conference at the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City. Mark Daniel, an incoming Grade 8 student, reiterated his appeal to those in power to help save his mother from death. His younger brother, …

  • US-Philippines wargames to start under China's shadow
    US-Philippines wargames to start under China's shadow

    Thousands of American and Filipino soldiers on Monday will kick off expanded wargames, showcasing a deepening defence alliance as alarm bells ring over China. The 10-day exercises in the Philippines are an annual affair between the longtime allies, but this time they will involve double the number of soldiers as last year in a sign of their expanding military partnership. The Philippines is seeking more US military and diplomatic support to fend off China's increasing forcefulness in its bid …

  • Bar ban for US troops in Philippines amid murder trial
    Bar ban for US troops in Philippines amid murder trial

    The US Pacific Command has banned its troops in the Philippines from bars and nightclubs, a spokesman said Saturday, with the trial under way of a US Marine accused of murdering a transgender Filipina he met in a bar. Thousands of American and Filipino soldiers will on Monday kick off 10-day annual military excercises, according to Captain Alex Lim, a spokesman for the US forces, but there will be strict controls on their free time. Lim would not say why the restrictions were imposed but …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options