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.