Bloodied Donaire fights on instinct to capture 5th title
By Abac Cordero Updated Monday June 02, 2014 - 12:00am

Nonito Donaire connects on a punch against Simpiwe Vetyeka of South Africa during their WBA featherweight title match at the Venetian Macao hotel in Macau last Saturday.  Donaire won the title on a technical decision. AP

MACAU - If Nonito Donaire Jr. fought on instinct Saturday evening, then he should fight on instinct the rest of his career.

Dazed and bloodied from a one-inch cut over his left eye, Donaire plodded on and fought like a true champion against Simpiwe Vetyeka.

The Filipino had his back on the ropes, taking a strong challenge from the South African, when he landed a short right straight that backed his opponent.

Donaire moved on and landed a left cross, sending Vetyeka down midway in the fourth round. It was all that was needed to seal the victory, a technical unanimous decision.

Donaire is now the WBA featherweight champion.

In the post-fight press conference, Donaire said he didn't know what was going on inside the ring since he took the accidental head butt at the end of the first round.

"Groggy talaga ako (I was dazed)," Donaire told The STAR.

"I was just fighting on instinct. It was crazy. I thought I was sparring. My dad told me to sit down and that I was in a fight," said Donaire.

That was how he felt after the head butt. He went down after the blow and walked back to his corner dazed and blinking his left eye.

"I was rocked. I was dazed. It was natural instinct. Blood was getting to my eyes and the medicine. It was blurry. I was blinded in a way," said Donaire.

Under these conditions, everything was supposed to go wrong. But it went the other way. From that point on, Donaire did everything right.

Donaire took a couple more head butts after the first round, and at one point he turned away from Vetyeka, signaling to the referee.

The ring doctor was called in a couple of times to look at the cut. If the fight was stopped anywhere inside four rounds, it would have ended in a technical draw.

Donaire knew what to do. He poured it on in the third and fourth rounds.

Donaire said he couldn't see Vetyeka's right hand anymore, and since it's the South African's strong hand, he had to adjust.

Again, on instinct.

"I stayed close to him and engaged because that way I could see where that right was coming. If I decided to box, I knew I would walk into that right.

"Quitting is not in my vocabulary. Even if I didn't know what was going on I wasn't going to quit and have the fight stopped because I was doing it for the fans," he said.

"I was giving it everything I had," added the "Filipino Flash."

Donaire also showed he has the power to knock an opponent down in the featherweight class.


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