RINGSIDE! Nonito Donaire Gathers IBF Title; Pavlik Wins Too

Donaire Mathebula 120707 001a

Donaire was in a tight fight, the HBO crew said. What did you think, readers? (Chris Farina-Top Rank)

CARSON, CALIF.-Nonito “Filipino Flash” Donaire jumped off to a flaming start but the long armed awkwardness of South Africa's Jeffrey Mathebula (26-4-2, 14 KOs) allowed him to hear the final bell. Still, Donaire won by unanimous decision on Saturday.

Before a crowd of more than 3,200 people at the Home Depot Center, Donaire (29-1, 18 KOs) captured the IBF junior featherweight world title to go along with his own WBO title. Most of the people thought a knockout was a sure thing but not on this summer night.

An obvious speed advantage by Donaire had him teeing off a bit with left and right haymakers in round one. Mathebula was hurt toward the middle of the round but survived.

Mathebula began to crank it up in round two as he attacked the body with combinations and used his long arms to try and ward off Donaire's attacks. The Filipino speedster landed a leaping uppercut but the South African withstood the blow.

Lots of posing by Donaire allowed Mathebula to take advantage with some light combinations and jabs that scored. Donaire landed a left hook to the body but that was it. The South African had his best effort in round three.

Donaire erupted in round four with some sizzling combinations. It all started with jolting left jab that stunned Mathebula. Donaire then followed with a right hand and left uppercut. Finally, a left hook counter dropped Mathebula with a thud. He beat the count at the end of the round.

Round five saw Donaire look for the perfect moment to connect but Mathebula was tougher than expected. He lasted the round despite some big rights by Donaire.

After three rounds of survival, Mathebula cranked it up again beginning with some jabs and counter left hooks. Donaire still was looking for the bomb and the South Africa proved more effective for the first time in the fight in round eight.

“He was tough, he got me with that jab,” said Donaire. “They told me to calm down.”

In round nine Donaire was continued looking for the big punch, but Mathebula continued to peck away with his combinations up and down. A stiff three punch combo was landed by him but Donaire finished off the round with a four punch combination at the bell.

After some rather lackluster rounds Donaire opened up in round 11 but wasn't able to down the tall South African. A counter right and left landed but Mathebula withstood the challenge.

The two junior featherweights banged it out at the beginning of the final round. But a left hook put Mathebula back in reverse as Donaire wobbled him. But the tall South African survived.

“Like I said, that jab really took me out. He was a great champion, I really give him a lot of credit,” said Donaire. “I didn't expect it.”

All three judges scored it for Donaire 117-110, 118-109, 119-108.

“I felt like I would get it,” said Donaire. “To me I knew about the 11th round I would win it. It was tough.”

Abner Mares was ringside. Could he be next?

The Ghost

Former middleweight world champion Kelly “The Ghost” Pavlik (40-2, 34 KOs) seems to have amassed a following in Southern California as fans cheered his name. The Ohio bomber also won by unanimous decision against New York's Will “Power” Rosinsky (16-2, 9 KOs) who moved a lot but couldn't score enough.

“I got the rounds that I needed. If there's up and coming prospects I'll beat them,” said Pavlik after the fight.

Pavlik saw Rosinsky use a lot of lateral movement for most of the ten round super middleweight fight. In round two a perfect right cross dropped Rosinsky.

“It was straight on the button. A good little shot that we worked on in the gym,” said Pavlik about the knockdown.

After that Rosinsky moved even more and flurried occasionally. In round five fans began to shout “Kelly, Kelly” although Pavlik is a native of Youngstown, Ohio. The lanky power puncher tired a bit in round seven but Rosinsky did not take advantage of the lapse. The judges scored it 98-91 twice and 97-92 for Pavlik.

Other bouts

Heavyweight prospect Andy Ruiz Jr. (15-0, 9 KOs) knocked out Washington's Jonte Willis (8-4-1, 3 KOs) at 54 seconds of the eighth and final round. Ruiz knocked down Willis in round five with a left-right combination. Willis took a beating but never gave in. In the final round Ruiz unloaded with more than a dozen punches with most landing. Referee Wayne Hedgepeth wisely stopped the fight despite the protest of Willis who wobbled while disputing the knockout.

Welterweight prospect Brad Soloman (18-0, 7 KOs) of Georgia scored a knockdown in round one and eventually won by unanimous decision against New Mexico's Hector Munoz (10-8-1) after eight rounds.

Southern California's Jose Roman (14-0, 11 KOs) floored Arizona's Rodolfo Armenta (11-8-1, 9 KOs) with a double left hook to the body and head in round one. Armenta hung around for several more rounds on pure grit but ran into a left hook at 1:23 of round five and was knocked out of a junior welterweight contest.

Inglewood, California's Eric Flores (4-1-1) won a four round lightweight bout over Denver's Raymond Nichol (3-1-1) by unanimous decision.

Inglewood's Anthony Flores (2-0, 1 KOs) started quickly with a knockdown of Cameron Kreal (2-2-2) by a body shot in round one. But both junior welterweights fought on until the fourth and final round. Flores won by decision 38-37 twice and 39-36.

Comment on this article


-TotoyBato :

Pinoy does sooo hard to please against a very difficult opponent... Pinoy prevails... If Nonito would just forget about being spectacular (looking for K.O.) and just box and counter (awesome counterpuncher) he will be unbeatable at 122 or 126.

-Shoulder Roll Defense :

I can see Donaire beating everybody at 122 EXCEPT RIGONDEAUX. That is the fight that real fight fans want to see! I don't see anybody beating Rigondeaux at 122, his defense and counter punching ability are extraordinary. Donaire got the "W" tonight, but the fight was a lot closer than judge's scorecards indicated.

-TotoyBato :

YES. Rigondeaux vs Donaire. SUPERFIGHT!!! Technicians of the highest order. Record this fight if it happens and and it will be a boxing textbook for all future fighters.

-Radam G :

Welcome back SRD. You haven't been up in the TSSU for a minute. Good to see another cat who knows da know, though he is not necessary always in da know. Now to my RIGHTEOUS SPIT: With his great manship -- not an iota of bytchship -- the Filipino Flash has all these cyberspace creampuffs, manufacturing clutters, jive-time mutters, and pure Pinoy haters hunting for semantics to keep rolling with their reality distortion, actuality make-believe and jealousy of ___ ___ ___ ___! It Pinoy TIME! Get use to the PT, BABBBBEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!! Nonito Donaire will eventually whup arses at 126lbs and 130lbs. And don't be shock if he is able to take it straight up to 135lbs. Holla!

-ali :

TotoyBato i couldn't agree more I was at the fight and was pretty upset with the way he was fighting. If he fights Ridondeaux like that he's going to get his *** whooped I hate to say it im just calling a spade a spade. But if he just boxes and goes to the body Ridondeaux will get scrape without a doubt in my mind. Im starting to think Donaire is falling in love with his power too much similar to Trindad and u see what happened when he fought a master boxer.

-dino da vinci :

Two of the boxing world's very best featured in this photo. Nonito Donaire (shortlist pound for pounder) and the equally great Pat Russell.

-brownsugar :

Good fight...closer than I thought it would be. It's clear that Donaire is a better pure boxer than Pac. But there is also much better competition today for Donnaire as well...(best to stay away from 130 however) . ...and it's sad to say that he may not ever get recognized for being the best boxer currently representing the Philippines because of close fights like these. According to his own words during the post fight interview he clearly does not want any part of Rigondeaux, ......choosing to fight a virtually unknown guy from Japan instead even though Rigo's been calling him out for the past year..... It's a little disappointing but maybe he'll get around to it... If he can get past the Japanese guy..(forgot the name)So much good talent between 122 and 126 not to mention all the beasts at 130 .... I hope we can see Donaire exhibit his talents and compete against his new rivals ... his true rivals. ... and not just against the Alphabet Soup Candidates. Good effort from Rosinsky. He made Pavlik earn it the hard way. Pavlik looked like he's almost completed his (boxing)rehabilitation under the scrutiny of soon to be trainer of year Robert Garcia . (Ortiz should have never left). Hope he can reach his full potential. Two good competitive fights in one night. My thanks goes out to the fighters, the matchmakers, the promoters, HBO and the very game contestants.

-mortcola :

I love the way Donaire does things. But, Damn, for a guy at his level to forget about setting up his shots....he doesn't use his boxing skill exactly when he needs it. He could have chopped the guy down if he stopped aiming long range nukes at him the whole fight.

-MisterLee :

@Bsug- I hope he was calling out Nishioka as a unifier. If not, waste of time!

-brownsugar :

That's him Mr Lee......... also a tough fight. But Rigo vs Donaire is the best fight at 122 bar none. Rigo has the title and he's been hounding Donaire All year. Hope they get it done. Rigo says he'll chase him to 126 if necessary.

-Radam G :

The Filipino Flash is not the best boxer currently representing the Philippines. Besides, he represents the U.S.A. FIRST and the Philippines SECOND. And, next, he is not a "pure boxer," and has never been that as a pro. He has hardly ever boxed any opponent as a professional. [He KOs 'em in masterpiece fashion, out fights 'em and out slugs 'em -- not out boxes 'em. He was purely stalking, slugging AT, slicing AT the Long Tall South African "Marvelous Mongoose." If he would have boxed, he would have probably gotten a stoppage or KAYO. Now as an amateur -- respresenting the U.S.A. -- Nonito Donaire was one bad boxing mofu. As a pro, he's been a slugger/boxer 95 percent of the time. And he slugs 90 percent of the time and boxes about three or four percent of the time. He and Da Manny are as different as Ernie Shaver and the late, great Smokin' Joe Frazier were. He and Da Manny are as different as "Hawk Time" Aaron Pryor and "Macho Time" Hector Camacho were. The only boxing things that Da Manny and the Filipino Flash have in common are lots of stanks' -- I mean Yanks' -- sublimical hatred and stereotyping of them and hoping that they lose because of the present dominance of Pinoys amongst the small men of pugilism. As Da Manny has done, so will the Filipino Flash -- whup every arse put in that squared jungle across from 'em. The Filipino Flash will kayo Rigo and Da Manny will kayo "cleithrophobia-suffering" Lil' Floyd. I just HOPE that these matches HAPPEN. And I love what I wish for. BLING! BLING! All da way, all da time. Holla!