By Rick Reeno
Home Depot Center, Carson, California - Nonito Donaire (29-1, 18KOs) won a twelve round unanimous decision over Jeffrey Mathebula (26-4-2, 14KOs) to unify the WBO/IBF super bantamweight titles. The scores were 117-110, 118-109 and 119-108.
Mathebula was throwing a very lazy jab and left himself wide open for DOnaire's power shots. Donaire was landing almost at will and staggered Mathebula several times in the first round. Mathebula stood firm in the second, trading punches but taking more damage as Donaire's faster punches were easily catching the target.
Donaire's faster hands and awkward angles were very puzzling to Mathebula, who continued to get caught with big shots in the third. A big counter at the end of the fourth dropped Mathebula on his back. He was lucky that there was no time left in the round. Mathebula stumbled back to his corner. Donaire came out blazing with hard shots in the fifth. Mathebula did his best to weather the storm.
Mathebula really picked up the pace in the second half of the fight but a lot of his punches were ineffective and thrown in a slapping manner. Donaire was throwing and landing the much heavier artillery - but he was being reckless and allowing Mathebula to outwork him in certain spots.