"The most dominant bantamweight in the world"—a title the Mexican WBO and WBC champion Fernando Montiel (44-3-2, 34 KO) had previously held until the close of the second round of his meeting with Filipino switch-hit phenomenon Nonito Donaire (25-1-0, 18 KO).
Coming into the fight at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on Saturday, the much-hyped Fernando Montiel was on a four-bout winning streak. Having recorded victories in 12 of his last 13 fights, the only blemish he ever recorded was an uninspiring technical draw against Alejandro Valdez in September of 2009.
Montiel had two world championships under his name; the WBC Bantamweight Title he won last April against Japanese champion Hozumi Hasegawa, and the WBO Bantamweight Title he successfully defended five times since 2007.
Nonito Donaire, on the other hand, has had a much less turbulent career up to this point.
Boasting a 23-bout winning streak his only blemish in his 27 professional fights dates back to 2001—a unanimous decision loss to American fighter Rosendo Sanchez.
This meeting would mark the first time Donaire would be fighting for a world title in the bantamweight division, as he previously held only the WBC Continental Americas Bantamweight title under his belt after just one fight in the division.
The work day began with a little drama before the two men even stepped into the ring, as Donaire posted on his official Twitter account that the Montiel camp had acted out against his hand wraps despite the presence of an observer, causing pre-fight stir.
The light dispute was later settled after Donaire finally agreed to have his hands re-wrapped.
Hhe posted a second Twitter update saying that he just wanted to get into the ring and that he wanted the Montiel camp to stop playing games.
Donaire's indirect request was soon granted as Round 1 came off with both fighters trying to get a feel for the other's stance and tendencies.
Donaire spent this time stalking and trying to get on the offensive whilst Montiel backed away and looked for opportunities to counter. The more aggressive Donaire seemed to have taken the lead with a fair first round in what looked to be something that was just getting started.
The second round started similarly. Donaire kept his right shots consistent until the middle portion of the round when Montiel advanced with select sets of accurate jabs to Donaire's face.
Seemingly thinking that he had stabilized the situation, Montiel tried his luck with a right hook—the punch never landed as Donaire connected a few milliseconds earlier with a countering left hook that landed flush on Montiel's jaw.
Montiel went down without warning and lay helpless on his back—a surge of visible force went through his body as a wave from his head to his legs moved the pitiful Montiel involuntarily.
Impressively, the Mexican still was able to find himself back on his feet after a slight stumble and referee Russell Mora allowed him to continue.
Donaire proved the referee wrong, immediately charging at Montiel to land two big shots and sending him to the ropes, referee Mora wasted no more time in correcting his earlier mistake and decided to stop the fight, giving Donaire the TKO victory.
Donaire jumped into the air upon the stoppage of the fight and walked over to congratulate Montiel once the former champion regained composure.
Donaire stands tall as one of the most successful Filipino boxers of this era, alongside his countryman, welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao.
He now holds his third world title in his third weight class—which he plans to leave for the featherweight division in search of greater challenges and further dominance.
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