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Unsinkable Filipino Flash Donaire champ again


PhilBoxing.com




Filipino four-division titleholder Nonito Donaire went down two divisions to face Ryan Burnett and added the World Boxing Association super-bantamweight championship to his collection.

Donaire, 35, thus, advanced to the semifinals of the World Boxing Super Series by that fifth-round TKO at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow, Scotland, on Saturday.

Burnett, who came as the unbeaten defending champion, suffered with what looked a lower-back injury after throwing a right hand in the fourth round. Burnett took a knee in the immediate aftermath, when he took the mandatory eight count from referee Howard Foster.

Burnett, who now dropped to 19-1 win-loss record with 9 KOs, survived the round and was able to make it back to his corner. It was reported he needed oxygen after being carried out of the ring with an apparent hip injury.

"At that moment I was already getting my groove on," Donaire said by phone after the victory. "I felt my speed coming in and I was feinting and I was moving really, really well. So at the moment, I really didn't know what was going on with it.?

?All I know was he was grimacing and from that point on it was, 'Well, OK, we can't do nothing about that.' But I was kind of confused with what was going on," the 35-year-old (39-5, 25 KOs said.

Donaire will meet reigning World Boxing Organization bantam king Zolani Tete (28-3 with 21 KOs), who beat Mikhail Aloyan last month in he other half of the WBSS quarterfinals.

For a decade or so, Donaire has been one of the most recognizable fighters in the sweet science?s smaller weight divisions, marching triumphantly to world titles in four weight classes from flyweight to featherweight, five divisions counting the interim belt he claimed as a junior bantamweight.

He won the ?knockout of the year in 2011? , ?fighter of the year in 2012? in what could qualify him for the International Boxing Hall of Fame when his fighting days are over.

The ?Filipino Flash? didn't spend much time in the 118-pound class, but caught the imagination of ring pundits despite fighting only three times between late 2010 and late 2011. It was a brief but impressive stint.

He moved up to the division and destroyed former world titlist Wladimir Sidorenko via fourth-round knockout before manhandling Fernando Montiel for that 2011 knockout of the year to take his two world title belts.

He followed this up with a shutout decision in his only title defense against then-junior bantamweight titlist Omar Narvaez, who appeared so scared of the Filipino?s punching power that he spent the entire fight fleeing from him.

Donaire then left the division for greater riches and glory, winning world titles at junior featherweight and featherweight as he moved between both divisions. Since the fight with Narvaez nearly seven years ago, Donaire has had 15 bouts and gone 11-4.

Coming off a clear decision loss to Carl Frampton in an interim featherweight title bout April 21, Donaire's future seemed uncertain. He didn't want to become a stepping stone opponent, and he felt that even at age 35 he still had a lot left.

That's where the World Boxing Super Series entered the picture, as organizers were putting together a second season of eight-man tournaments, including one at bantamweight.

Beside luring world titleholders into the field, the WBSS is also looking for name fighters and Donaire was on their list -- if he could make the weight.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Eddie Alinea.


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