By Ronnie Nathanielsz
Former IBF super bantamweight champion Jeffrey Mathebula is to be operated on for a broken jaw suffered in his unification title fight against WBO champion Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire at the Home Depot Center in Carson City last July 7.
The California Boxing Commission doctor who examined Mathebula after the fight initially diagnosed the discomfort as being caused by a broken tooth.
However, the Manila Standard reported Mathebula was suspected of suffering a broken jaw which was confirmed when the former world champion was examined on his return home to South Africa.
The fighter’s well known promoter Branco Milenkovic who returned to South Africa on Monday from Los Angeles confirmed that “Mongoose” has been booked to undergo surgery.
Branco confirmed “We initially thought that it was tooth problem but it is in fact a broken jaw.”
Milenkovic noted that fighting with a broken jaw against the universally recognised fifth rated pound for pound star makes Mathebula’s performance even more heroic especially after highly respected American fighter Victor Ortiz opted to quit in his corner when his jaw was broken during his welterweight clash against Joselito Lopez just a fortnight ago.
Milenkovic said he was proud of the gusty display of his fighter in the HBO- televised main bout especially in the wake of his unexpected injury.
The promoter revealed that “Mathebula could not speak after the fourth round, which underlines the pain he was feeling but he did not let everyone see it because he wanted to fight on like the true soldier he is.”
Milenkovic said that South African judge Deon Dwarte had Donaire the winner by a “shocking” 119-108 scorecard while judge Jonathan Davis had Donaire winning 117-110 with Steve Morrow turning in a 118-109 scorecard.
However, Ring Magazine, boxingscene.com and HBO which televised the fight saw a much closer fight t 115-112 even though Donaire scored a fourth round knockdown where Mathebula was saved by the bell.