DONAIRE GETS THE JOB DONE WITH 6TH ROUND TKO WIN
By Ed de la Vega, DDS
Sun, 02 Nov 2008
Las Vegas, NV:- Nonito Donaire, the genial young man better known as “The Filipino Flash”, tonight at the Mandalay Bay Events Center kept his IBF/IBO Flyweight crown after beating his mandatory challenger, Moruti Mthalane of South Africa.
Mthalane suffered a vicious cut on the left side of his face above the eye and the bout was stopped upon advice of the ring doctor. Thus, Donaire won via a 6th round TKO.
Although Donaire’s victory is less than stunning than his 5th round “Knock-out of-the-Year” victory over Vic Darchinyan, the cocky Armenian from Down Under in July 2007, it was none-the-less a respectable performance.
Donaire, started very cautiously during the fight. This writer was informed by reliable sources after the fight that his approach was a measure of caution because Mthalane (22-2-1, 15KO) holds a respectable KO rate of 65.22%. But it appeared, from the point of view of some of the pundits at the press room, it may have something to do with the slight “ring rust” from almost a year of in-activity.
Donaire last fought and defended his title early December last year against Luis Maldonado at the Foxwood Casino Resort in Connecticut. Donaire KO’d the Mexican warrior in round 8. Previous to that, his last fight was against Darchinyan whom he KO’d with a scintillating left hook to the chin.
However, since the Maldonado fight Donaire has been inactive. Thus, there were concerns about “ring rust”. The inactivity is the result of his disagreement with his former promoter, Gary Shaw. Shaw for some reason did not find fights for Donaire thus Donaire and he parted ways. The young man from San Leandro, CA then signed up with Bob Arum’s Top Rank Promotions. Top Rank almost readily found him a fight with Mthalane.
Mthalane earned the right to challenge Donaire via a 12 round UD over Australian Hussein Hussein at a fight held in East Cape, South Africa last July 5th. He is the mandatory challenger and was not a “pushed –over” as alleged by some internet bloggers.
As the fight developed, it appeared that Donaire would not have much of a problem with the South African. The South African can not seem to solve the tactics of Donaire, particularly when he changed stance. With that, Donaire was able to land his power shots and eventually cut the face of Mthalane.
Much to Mthalane’s credit however, he showed some flashes of brilliance although such display of ring savvy did not fazed Donaire . The “Filipino Flash”, responding to the instructions from his father/trainer Nonito Donaire Sr, just continued to attack when given the opportunity and counter punched when Mthalane seemed to get the upper hand.
The end came in round six after Donaire landed a series of combinations. The referee stopped the fight and asked the doctor to check the cut. The doc decided that it was too deep and called off the fight.
Rumors indicate that the Mthalane fight was the last as a flyweight for Donaire. Team Donaire wants to explore the possibility of going up the weight class and challenge the likes of super flyweights Jorge Arce, Fernando Montiel, and Christian Mijares. But Mijares was KO’s tonight by Darchinyan. Thus, he is out of the picture for now.
The next fight would probably with Arce or Darchinyan. Stay tuned.
Top photo: Nonito Donaire, Jr. (R) tags Moruti Mthalane with with left during their fight Saturday night at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, NV. Donaire retained his IBF flyweight title with a 6th round TKO win.
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