Nonito Donaire Stops Fernando Montiel In Second Round
LAS VEGAS -- WBA interim super flyweight (115 pounds) titlist Nonito Donaire scored his 25th straight victory and 10th stoppage in his past 12 fights with Saturday night's HBO-televised second round knockout in a bantamweight (118 pounds) showdown over WBO and WBC champion Fernando Montiel from the Mandalay Hotel.
Donaire dropped his rival with a stunning left hook, followed by a short right uppercut that left his arms outstretched over his head and both legs twitching. Montiel rose on unsteady legs, fell back down, and then rose yet again and stumbled into referee Russell Mora.
Mora brushed off Montiels gloves before allowing the fight to continue. But Donaire pounced on the helpless Montiel, who was standing near his own corner, and landed a single left hook before Mora stepped in to protect Montiel from further harm at 2:25 of the round.
"I hit him with the left hook and I looked down, and I saw that his legs were twitching, and I knew that the fight was over," said Donaire, who improved to 26-1, with 18 knockouts.
"I had a premonition that this would happen," said Donaire. "I told my trainer, Robert Garcia in camp before Christmas that it would be a second-round knockout."
In victory over the 31-year-old Montiel (44-3-2, 34 knockouts), the 28-year-old Donaire (26-1, 18 KOs) defeated a man who is among five Mexican fighters to have won world titles over the course of three divisions -- the others being WBA and WBO lightweight (135 pounds) titlist Juan Manuel Marquez (51-5-1, 38 KOs), Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. (107-6-2, 86 KOs), Erik Morales (51-6, 35 KOs) and Marco Antonio Barrera (66-7, 43 KOs).
The bout was the second for Donaire as a bantamweight, following December's fourth-round knockout of Volodymyr Sydorenko (22-2-2, seven KOs), whose nose he broke during a bout in which Sydorenko was dropped once each in the first, third and fourth rounds.
Montiel was coming off of April's sensational fourth-round knockout over Hozumi Hasegawa (29-3, 12 KOs), a man who was in search of his sixth straight stoppage during a 25-fight winning streak that had included 11 knockouts.
Montiel was examined in his dressing room, and was taken to the University Medical Center's trauma unit for precaution.
"I knew that we both had the power to knock each other out," said Montiel. "But I made the first mistake, and I paid for it."
Donaire's clash with Montiel continued the rivalry begun by Philippines countryman and WBO welterweight (147 pounds) titlist, Manny Pacquiao (52-3-2, 38 KOs), who has been nicknamed, "The Mexicutioner," for his dominance of fighters from that country.
Now it appears that Donaire will continue that run.
Donaire hopes to have secured potential unification bouts against the winner of an April 23, Showtime-televised match up between unbeaten 25-year-old Mexican-born IBO and WBC silver belt king Abner Mares (21-0-1, 13 KOs), of Montebello, Calif., and Africa's 30-year-old two-time IBF champion, Joseph Agbeko (28-2, 22 KOs), that is slated for the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles.
The WBA's bantamweight king is 25-year-old southpaw Anselmo Moreno (30-1-1, 10 KOs) of Panama, who has a Feb. 26 defense against 32-year-old Lorenzo Parra (31-2-1, 18 KOs) of Venezuela.
Nicknamed "The Filipino Flash," Donaire is looking to follow the path of Pacquiao, who earned his record eighth crown over as many different weight divisions with November's unanimous decision over ex-champion Antonio Margarito (38-7, 27 KOs) for the WBC's junior middleweight (154 pounds) belt.
Top Rank Promotions CEO Bob Arum has compared Donaire, who walks around at 135 pounds, favorably to Pacquiao, whom Donaire said is, "definitely an inspiration in my career."
"I believe Pacquiao has given me this opportunity. I don't mind being No. 2 behind Pacquiao. I have the utmost respect for Manny Pacquiao," said Donaire.
"I just came out there believing in what I had. I predicted a second round KO three months ago," said Donaire. "I want to be undisputed in my weight class. Otherwise I'll put my trust in [manager] Cameron Dunkin to move up to 122 [super bantamweight] or 126 [featherweight.]"
Besides the Agbeko-Mares winner, Arum has a promotional stable of fighters against whom he could match Donaire. There are Canadian southpaw IBF super bantamweight (122 pounds) king Steve Molitor (33-1, 12 KOs), and, WBO counter part Wilfredo Vazquez (20-0-1, 17 KOs).
There are WBA and IBF featherweight (126 pounds) king Yuriorkis Gamboa (19-0, 15 KOs) and WBO counter part Juan Manuel Lopez (29-0, 26 KOs).
Down the road at lightweight (135 pounds), there are potential bouts opposite star, Brandon Rios (26-0-1, 19 KOs), who will meet WBA champ Miguel Acosta (28-3, 22 KOs) in a Showtime-televised bout on Feb. 26, or WBC lightweight champ, Humberto Soto (54-7-2, 32 KOs), who has an HBO televised, May 7 rematch with Urbano Antillon (28-2, 20 KOs) after having vanquished him by unanimous decision.
"I want to be undisputed in the 118-pound weight class," said Donaire. "If that doesn't happen, I want to go up to 122 or maybe 126, and to just keep going and that's all that I want to do."