All Photos by Maria Hedrick
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On Saturday night from the Home Depot Center
in Carson, CA, Nonito Donaire
won a unanimous decision over Jeffrey Mathebula and unified the WBO and IBF junior featherweight titles. Covering the fight live, I wasn’t impressed at all with Donaire’s performance.
Donaire was looking for the one punch knockout but looked like a one trick pony trying to survive thru the scheduled 12 rounds. He struggled against an unknown fighter to casual boxing fans. The South African did a lot better than what the judges scored it. Mathebula (26-4-2, 14 KOs) threw more than 400 punches than Donaire (919-515) and landed 80 more (231-151) according to CompuBox.
Donaire reminded me of Vic Darchinyan, always throwing that same over right hand. The problem is that once your opponent figures out your “same” combination, it is no longer an easy ride and that’s exactly what Mathebula did with his long jab. He kept his foe at a distance.
Donaire did drop Mathebula with a left hook in the fourth round but after that “The Filipino Flash” failed to finish the job but he did more than enough to win. I just think Mathebula deserves more credit than he received after the fight.
Personally I don’t think Nonito Donaire is ready for the likes of Guillermo Rigondeaux, Toshiaki Nishioka or Abner Mares. Donaire wasn’t even able to fill the Home Depot Center. The promoters say it was 3,700 in attendance but personally and being there live, I think it was half of that. Such a small crowd for “3rd best pound-for-pound fighter in boxing.”
So what is next for Donaire? Bob Arum has been quoted saying Jorge ‘Travieso’ Arce is next in line later this year.
In the co-main event, former middleweight world champion Kelly Pavlik (40-2, 34 KOs) continued his comeback with a hard fought ten round unanimous decision over Will Rosinsky (16-2, 9 KOs) in a super middleweight bout.
With a three week notice, Pavlik dropped Rosinsky in round two but also suffered a cut over his left eye in the fourth round. Bob Arum told reporters that he his looking at Carl Froch or Mikkel Kessler for Kelly’s next fight later this year.
What’s your opinion on Nonito Donaire and Kelly Pavlik’s performance?
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