It’s not the kind of win Nonito Donaire Jr. expected in his bid to reclaim lost glory.
But heck, it’s still a win and meant another world championship belt for the Filipino Flash.
The 31-year-old Donaire endured a nasty cut just above his left eye and settled for a technical unanimous decision win over Simpiwe Vetyeka of South Africa to claim the World Boxing Association (WBA) featherweight title on Saturday night, May 31, before a sizeable crowd at the Cotai Arena in Macau.
The ring doctor ordered a stop to the 12-round main bout of the Featherweight Fury by the start of the fifth round as the gash on Donaire’s eye had gotten bad following a clash of heads for the two fighters near the end of the opening round.
Donaire was leading in all of the judges’ cards by similar scores of 49-46 when the fight came to an end.
The San Leandro, California-based Donaire scored the lone knockdown of the match when he connected a vicious left hook that sent Vetyeka to the canvas just as the fourth round was coming to an end. The South African, however, managed to survive the onslaught and made it back to his corner.
Donaire later apologized for the way the fight ended.
In an interview held right after the fight, he said. "I couldn’t see on the right side, it was blurring. I couldn’t see his right hand where his power comes from. After the fourth round, I couldn’t go any further."
Nonito added, "He [Vetyeka] is a great fighter; he deserves a rematch."