By taking out bantamweight champion Fernando Montiel (44-3-2, 34 KOs) inside of two rounds tonight at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, in Las Vegas, NV, “The Filipino Flash” Nonito Donaire (26-1, 18 KOs) proved once again why so many fans and boxing media consider him to be among the best fighters in the world.
In a fight that was perhaps the most significant in the respective careers of both men, Donaire came out very sharp in the first round by throwing and landing with bad intentions on the smaller looking champion. Donaire’s punches seemed to move Montiel on a couple occasions, as the champion chose to stand in front of his taller and longer opponent in a relaxed, confident posture.
There was no doubt about Donaire taking the round on the scorecards, and after three minutes of action, it was clear Fernando Montiel would have to begin utilizing his left jab to get inside with the intent of following up with his much talked about left hook.
And that is exactly what the Mexican boxing icon began to do in the second, as he got himself into a nice rhythm and scored with several left jabs and a couple left hooks. At the time, what he didn’t know was Nonito Donaire was allowing him to get off a bit offensively in order to setup a big counterpunch.
That shot came in the latter part of the second round when Fernando Montiel leaned forward while throwing a straight right hand, and Nonito Donaire countered him with a picture perfect, devastating left hook. The champion’s eyes seemed to bug out of his face immediately as he went crashing to the canvas and rolling over onto his back.
Out of sheer instinct, Montiel began kicking his legs while on his back. He stopped, laid there briefly and then rolled over to position himself back onto his feet. Once upright, a shaky and wobbled Montiel fell back to the canvas but managed to get back up again at the referee’s count of nine.
Showing respect for the badly hurt champion, the fight was briefly allowed to continue until Nonito Donaire followed up with a one-two combination against a virtually defenseless man, forcing the referee to call an end to matters at 2:25 into the round.
The TKO victory firmly cements Nonito Donaire as one of the best in the sport of boxing and positions him for potentially big fights all the way up to the featherweight division. When asked after the fight about his future, Donaire seemed content with wanting to clean out a very talented bantamweight division first before moving up in weight to take on bigger, harder hitting men, and at only 28 years old, he should have plenty of time for that.