The Filipino Flash

I never thought I’d get on this bandwagon, but Nonito Donaire is quickly becoming one of my favorite boxers. He moved up in weight to 122 pounds to face a formidable 5 foot 11 Jeffrey Mathebula last night. Naturally over 12 rounds Donaire, at 5’6″, absorbed some punishment from long-range straights, but he still managed to dominate the fight with speed, accuracy and power. After the fight he actually claimed the fight was fun for him–welts covering his face–that he had been excited about the challenge of handling such a physical disadvantage.  You have to love a fighter willing and eager to take some punches in order to use their own more potent weapons.  Donaire actually threw and landed far fewer punches than Mathebula, which brought about HBO analyst Harold Lederman’s scorecard of only six rounds to four in favor of Donaire. Donaire managed a thrilling knockdown with a left hook in round four, but so near the end of the round that he was unable to pursue Mathebula for the finishing blow. In fact, Mathebula recovered courageously, possibly having his best round of the night when he got off of his stool only 60 seconds after being knocked almost senseless. The fight was a good test for Donaire physically and stylistically, demonstrating that he can be a legitimate force at this higher weight against a range of fighters.
Kelly Pavlik also managed a win against a legitimate opponent last night in Will Rosinsky. Pavlik’s power and punch control were unimpressive but he did control the fight enough to make a match against potential opponent Lucian Bute interesting. The most entertaining part of this fight was the sideshow of Rosinsky’s girlfriend enthusiastically coaching from her ringside seat. Pavlik also mentioned that he wants to pursue Andre Ward and Mikkel Kessler as a future opponents, but I don’t think he really does.

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