by Ronnie Nathanielsz
Former International Boxing Federation super bantamweight champion Jeffrey Mathebula has successfully undergone surgery in South Africa for a broken jaw.
Mathebula’s jaw was broken as a result of the lethal punches of Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire in their unification title fight at Home Depot Center in Carson City, California last July 7 in which Donaire dropped the IBF champion with a vicious left hook en route to a comfortable unanimous twelve round decision.
Mathebula’s well-known promoter Branco Milenkovic told BoxingScene.com/Manila Standard that Mathebula “has two plates in his jaw and will be out of the gym for two months.”
Ringside doctors who examined Mathebula after the fight said he had a broken tooth but Milenkovic said “the pain persisted when he returned to South Africa” and X-Rays showed Mathebula’s jaw was broken.
Mathebula’s awkward style and his five inch height and reach advantage frustrated Donaire in whct Milenkovic described as “a bruising fight against one of the leading fighters in the world.” He said the former IBF champion deserved credit for continuing to fight with a broken jaw.
Donaire in the meantime is on a three-day visit to Japan after which he will return to the Philippines to shoot a Visayan movie somewhere in the province of Laguna.
He sent us a message for Mathebula from Tokyo in which Donaire said “I want to send my prayers and best wishes to Mathebula for a speedy recovery. He proved to have the heart of a champion both inside and outside the ring. South Africa should be proud to have a warrior with such heart and determination. I would like to ask everyone to include him and his family in their prayers.”
The four division world champion is scheduled to battle Mexican warrior Jorge “Travieso’ Arce at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on October 20.