Donaire vs. Mathebula: Easy Win Proves Donaire Is World's Top Super Bantamweight

Ryan PhillipsContributor IIIMarch 29, 2017

CARSON, CA - JULY 07:  Jeffery Mathebula of South Africa takes a punch from Nonito Donaire of The Phillipines during the fourth round of the WBO IBF Super Bantamweight title fight at The Home Depot Center on July 7, 2012 in Carson, California.  Donaire would win in a unanimous decision.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

Nonito Donaire once again showed why he is considered one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world Saturday night. The man known as The Filipino Flash, dominated a tough Jeffrey Mathebula for 12 rounds earning a unanimous decision win. With the victory there is now no doubt that Donaire is the best super bantamweight in the world.

Donaire (28-1, 18 KOs) was brilliant at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California, as he strafed Mathebula with hard shots for 12 rounds. He knocked Mathebula down with a hard left hook in the fourth round and generally got the best of exchanges all night long. 

Mathebula effectively used his jab and four-and-a-half inch height advantage to keep Donaire from getting too close and scoring a knockout, but it didn't matter. The Filipino fighter landed the bigger shots all night and it was no surprise that the judges awarded him with the victory. The scorecards read 117-110, 118-109 and 119-108. 

By earning his 28th consecutive win, Donaire picked up the IBF super bantamweight title to join his WBO belt and it appears he now plans to unify all of the 122-pound division's belts. 

While Donaire made things look easy on Saturday night, you shouldn't be fooled; Mathebula is a solid fighter who was a worthy challenger. Donaire won easily because of just how good he is, and the victory showed that is is definitely the class of the 122-pound division.

Donaire and Top Rank promoter Bob Arum likely have their sights set on a group of three guys for his next fight: fellow 122-pound champion Guillermo Rigondeau, bantamweight champion Jorge Arce, who is moving up to 122 pounds, and Toshiaki Nishioka, who recently won a 122-pound championship. 

Whoever Donaire fights next, he will be the favorite as his performance on Saturday only solidified his status atop the 122-pound division.