^

Unfinished business for Donaire

Abac Cordero (The Philippine Star) - June 2, 2014 - 12:00am

MACAU – Even before the fighters left the ring at the Cotai Arena close to midnight Saturday everybody was looking forward to a rematch.

A handshake between Filipino Nonito Donaire Jr. and South African Simpiwe Vetyeka may have sealed a second fight between them.

Promoter Bob Arum said it will take place in November or even earlier, once Donaire has fully recovered from the huge cut on his left eyelid.

“We can do it again,” Donaire, the newly crowned WBA featherweight champion, said in the post-fight press conference.

“We need to do this all over. We can do it here,” added Donaire, his sleepy 10-month-old son, Jarel, clinging to his shoulders.

Donaire came to the press conference in a red track suit, a cap with the Philippine colors on it and sunglasses on, a huge cut hiding underneath.

Donaire won a technical unanimous decision after the referee stopped the fight at the start of the fifth round due to an accidental headbutt at the end of the first round.

Blood flowed from the cut in the succeeding rounds, seriously hampering Donaire’s vision. But he fought on and dropped Vetyeka midway in the fourth with a right and a left.

During the break, the referee once again asked Donaire if he could continue. When Donaire said he couldn’t, Luis Pabon did the next best thing.

The referee signaled the start of the fifth round. And just a second or two after the bell rang, he ordered the fight stopped. Under the rules, the fight went to the scorecards.

Had Donaire agreed to have the fight stopped inside four rounds, it would have ended in a technical draw. The knockdown made the victory more convincing.

The official score sheet had Donaire ahead on all three cards, 49-46. The judges scored the fifth round 10-10. It was a technical unanimous decision.

When the ring announcer announced Donaire as “the new” WBA featherweight champion, Pinoy fans at the packed arena erupted in celebration. 

Among those in the crowd were former President and now Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada, and former Ilocos Sur Gov. Chavit Singson. 

The 2012 Fighter of the Year climbed the ring post and pumped his fists to the crowd and offered the sign of prayer.

Blood still dripping from the cut, he bowed his head a couple of times, like he was apologizing to the crowd.

“I wanted to continue fighting for the fans. I was sorry I wasn’t able to give them a good fight,” he said.

But to the fans, it was a good fight.

Donaire showed that he’s an elite fighter, now with four division titles under his name or five if you count an interim title at super-flyweight. He’s now in the company of great champions.

Yet, Donaire wasn’t happy with how the fight ended and immediately he offered the 33-year-old Vetyeka a rematch.

It was one of those nights when the winner goes home with the world title and some level of disappointment.

“It was disappointing that things ended the way it did tonight. I promised him I would give him a rematch. This is unfinished business,” added Donaire.

“Vetyeka is a worthy opponent. He’s tall, he has the speed, the power. If I made a mistake he would capitalize on it,” he added.

Vetyeka wants the rematch, which Arum said might take place in the undercard of Manny Pacquiao’s fight here in Macau on Nov. 23.

Vetyeka will most likely get it.

CHAVIT SINGSON COTAI ARENA DONAIRE FIGHT FIGHTER OF THE YEAR FILIPINO NONITO DONAIRE JR. AND SOUTH AFRICAN SIMPIWE VETYEKA HAD DONAIRE IF I ILOCOS SUR GOV VETYEKA
  • Latest
  • Trending
Latest
Recommended
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

FORGOT PASSWORD?
SIGN IN
or sign in with