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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Nonito Donaire Earns Another Title With Unanimous Decision Win Over Jeffrey Mathebula

Posted By on Tue, Jul 10, 2012 at 1:35 PM

Nonito Donaire has won 28 straight fights.
  • Nonito Donaire has won 28 straight fights.
On March 10, 2001, a 117-pound, 23-year-old boxer named Rosendo Sanchez fought 18-year-old Nonito Donaire in a five-round bout at the Pacific Sports Center in Vallejo. Sanchez had won two of his three previous fights and Donaire, born in the Philippines and raised in he East Bay, had won his only one a month earlier. The 23-year-old won by unanimous decision.

Sanchez would fight once more after that, winning a third-round TKO.

Donaire would go on to win his next 28 fights.

The most recent one came Saturday, when the Filipino Flash (29-1) picked apart IBF super bantamweight champion Jeffrey Mathebula (26-4-2) for a unanimous decision, uniting that belt with his WBO super bantamweight title.

It's the third consecutive fight Donaire's dominated from bell-to-bell, sliding around punches and landing long, heavy hooks that ignite punishing flurries. The judges scored the fight 119-108, 118-109, and 117-110.

Of course, he set himself an even higher standard in February 2011, when he splashed onto the national boxing scene with an explosive second-round knockout of then-WBO and WCB bantamweight champion Fernando Montiel.

Donaire, who lives in San Leandro, unleashed nearly that same left hook against Mathebula, dropping him in the fourth round. Matheluba held his own with a determined jab, landing nearly three times as many as Donaire did. But Donaire connected the bigger punches, aggressively throwing wide, blindside hooks and counter-straights throughout the fight. He chipped Matheluba's tooth in the 11th.

Top Rank promoted Bob Arum has noted junior featherweight champion Guillermo Rigondeaux and bantamweight champion Jorge Arce, who are both with Top Rank, as possible next opponents. Donaire, as he suggested to HBO's Max Kellerman on Saturday, will likely move up to 126 lbs. within a couple of fights.

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Albert Samaha

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