Nonito Donaire is a four-division world Champion and his refreshing reign of terror is just getting started. After winning the WBO Super Bantamweight title in February by defeating Wilfredo Vazques Jr, Donaire is on a mission to unify the division's titles. On Saturday night Donaire faced the much taller Jeffrey Mathebula (26-4-2, 14KOs) to unify the WBO/IBF titles.
The opening bell sounded and Donaire immediately landed a swift right hand as Mathebula stood tall behind his jab. Donaire leapt around the ring while switching stances to confuse his opponent. Donaire landed a thudding right hand that hurt Mathebula as he tripped around the ring . The second round started with Mathebula working his jab. Donaire landed a nasty combination towards the end of the round that pushed Mathebula back. It was clear that Donaire wanted to end this fight quickly with one huge shot.
In the third Mathebula had his moments when he threw his combinations but the shots looked to have no effect on Donaire. At the end of the fourth round Mathebula threw a telegraphed right hand that was countered with a left hand bomb from Donaire. Mathebula crashed down to the canvas and proceeded to slowly get up as the ref counted. Luckily for him, the round was over as he recovered in his corner. In the fifth Donaire continued to lower his hands to invite his opponent to attack him so he could counter. Donaire worked the body mixed with hooks to the head. Donaire cracked Mathebula with a left at the end of the round that pushed Mathebula back once again.
Mathebula came to fight as proof of the sixth round as he landed hard rights behind his long jab. After some slow paced middle rounds the ninth and tenth rounds saw Donaire having trouble finding the target while Mathebula landed from distance. Donaire's left eye was also beginning to swell. Donaire went to the body but Mathebula was landing clean shots every time Donaire leapt forward, aiming at his opponent's head. In the eleventh Donaire finally started using his world class jab to setup his big shots. Mathebula stopped working as hard as he did in the previous rounds while Donaire landed a huge right that stunned Mathebula.
In the final round both men seemed to be content in not throwing much. Mathebula landed a few good straights while Donaire scored points with a few shots here and there. Donaire was awarded the unanimous decision with the scores of 117-110, 117-109 and 119-108. I had it 117-110 for Donaire.
At the end of the night Donaire was asked about his future in the 122 lbs weight class and he replied with "My goal is always to be an undisputed champion, you know with the three belts. If you have three out of the four, that's undisputed to me. That's a dream and a goal to me."
As Nonito Donaire continues to add to his impressive resume you have to ponder on how far this man can go in the world of boxing. He has the skills, personality and flash to be great. I crave for what's next.
Photo Credit: AP