Donaire wins 5th title

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Saturday, May 31, 2014

CEBU (Updated) -- Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire captured his fifth division title Saturday night when he unseated South African defending champion Simpiwe Vetyeka from the WBA Super World featherweight throne with a unanimous technical decision in an abbreviated fight at The Venetian Macao’s Cotai Arena in Macau.

The 31-year-old Donaire (33-2, 21 KOs), looking for a convincing victory to get his career back on track, accomplished his mission against Vetyeka (26-3, 15 KOs) but still felt somewhat discontented with his feat as the fight was stopped in the fourth round due to a cut on his left eye.

Macau Boxing Nonito Donaire wins
Nonito "Filipino Flash" Donaire of the Philippines, center, celebrates after winning the WBA World Featherweight Title boxing match against Simpiwe Vetyeka of South Africa in Macau Saturday, May 31, 2014. (AP Photo)

An accidental headbutt at the close of the opening round made a cut over Donaire’s left eye which further impaired his vision as he and Vetyeka clashed heads again and again in Round 2.

Fearing that the fight might be stopped because of the cut over his eye, the 2012 Fighter of the Year came back strong in the third round and sent Vetyeka reeling to the ropes.

Donaire must avoid a referee-stopped contest as officials usually award the win to the defending champion.

In a sense of urgency to get rid of his opponent, Donaire entered the fourth stanza oozing with sheer determination and delivered a strong left hook to deck Vetyeka in 1:33 of the round.

The fight was then stopped, but officials handed Donaire the victory with all three judges scoring the bout 49-46.

Donaire said he was disappointed the fight was stopped and did not go as he wanted it to be. He apologized to the fans for not giving them a good show.

“I am sorry for not giving you guys a proper fight,” Donaire said. “I can still fight. I wanna keep going. I wanted to give the fans a best fight, and I was already halfway there.”

The newly-crowned WBA featherweight Super World king said he will give Vetyeka the rematch he deserves.

The win may be controversial, but to Donaire’s fans it was convincing.

The “Featherweight Fury” card was a world-class event as it also featured two other fantastic featherweight title fights pitting unbeaten WBA champion Nicholas “The Axe Man” Walters against two-division world titlist Vic “Raging Bull” Darchinyan and undefeated IBF titleholder Evgeny “The Mexican Russian” Gradovich versus top contender Alexander Miskirtchian of Belgium.

Walters (24-0, 20 KOs), who kayoed nine of his last 10 opponents, knocked out former multi-division champion Darchinyan (39-7-1, 9 KOs) in the fifth round to retain his title.

The undefeated Jamaican pugilist floored Darchinyan in the second round with a hard uppercut and also sent the latter to the canvas earlier in Round 5 before knocking the lights out off the latter in 2:22.

Gradovich (18-0, 9 KOs), who was defending his title for the third straight time at the Cotai Arena, maintained his unbeaten slate with a unanimous decision triumph over Miskirtchian (24-2-2, 9 KOs).

Miskirtchian, who climbed the ring for his first crack at a world title, sent Gradovich down with a jab in the sixth round only to see his 11-match winning streak snapped in the end by scores of 117-110, 117-110, 118-110.

In the undercard, undefeated Rex Tso (10-0, 6 KOs) beat Ratchasak Kokietgym (22-3-1, 10 KOs) of Thailand for the WBO Asia-Pacific junior bantamweight championship via ten-round unanimous verdict (97-91, 97-91, 96-92).

Chris “The Hitman” Avalos (24-2, 17 KOs) of the US earned the right to challenge IBF junior featherweight champion Kiko Martinez as he emerged the top contender for the world title after scoring a seventh-round TKO over No. 5-ranked Japanese Yasutaka Ishimoto (24-7, 7 KOs) in their eliminator bout. (Luel B. Galarpe/Sunnex)

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