Skip to main content
  1. AXS Entertainment
  2. Sports
  3. Fight Sports

Donaire wins featherweight title despite severe gash

See also

Nonito Donaire scored a fourth-round knockdown and won the WBA featherweight title Saturday by unanimous decision over Simpiwe Vetyeka in a bout reduced to four rounds because Donaire sustained a cut from an accidental head butt at the end of the first round.

Despite the victory, Donaire (33-2) was frustrated by his lack of opportunity to show he has regained his mojo, which even the knockdown and the new title did not restore.

“I wanted to give the fans my best,” Donaire said. “I was halfway there.”

On all the scorecards, Vetyeka won the first round by landing a couple of jabs, and he appeared slightly quicker than Donaire, the former flyweight, junior bantamweight, bantamweight and super-bantamweight champion. But Donaire began to establish his power in the second round enough to win that, and then clearly outpunched Vetyeka in the third, staggering him with a right cross.

With referee Luis Pabon stopping the action a couple of times for inspections of Donaire’s left eye, there was a sense of desperation in the proceedings, the knowledge that trailing on the scorecards at any point was not an option for either fighter.

Emboldened by occasional success, Vetekya was mixing it up with Donaire in the fourth when Nonito landed a big right and then a left hook that put Vetekya on the canvas. Donaire staggered Vetekya with another left late in the round.

The fight was stopped after the fourth round, but there was a two-second fifth round (scored a draw) in accordance with WBA rules.

“In every round it kept getting worse,” Donaire said of the distraction from the cut and particularly the flow of blood into his eye. “It was too much of a disadvantage.”

So the result was “unfinished business,” as Donaire put it. He declared there will be a rematch, and as for the elite phase of his career, he is still declaring there will be a revival.

Advertisement

Today's top buzz...

  • Jack White
    Jack White has played the longest show of his career, going for over three hours
    Music Buzz
  • Donald Sterling
    Donald Sterling loses big in court, Clippers sale will proceed
    Video
    Today's Buzz
  • Steve Nash
    The Los Angeles Lakers will not use stretch provision on Steve Nash
    NBA Buzz
  • Peter Gabriel
    Peter Gabriel revisits classics in new concert film 'Back to Front'
    Camera
    20 Photos
  • Train
    Train rocks an outdoor show with old favorites and new hits in Tahoe
    Camera
    15 Photos
  • Rascal Flatts
    Rascal Flatts to perform at Washington Redskins Training Center in Richmond, Va.
    Camera
    11 Photos