MANILA – Nonito ‘The Filipino Flash’ Donaire survived an accidental headbutt to win the World Boxing Association (WBA) featherweight title against South African Simpiwe Vetyeka via a fifth-round technical decision at the Venetian Resort in Macau Saturday night.
The two fighters accidentally butted heads toward the end of the first round, causing a nasty cut in the left eye of Donaire.
In the second round, the South African fighter targeted the wound and Donaire grimaced in pain but the referee couldn’t stop the fight due to accidental cut until the fourth quarter.
Despite the cut and the bleeding, Donaire was able to land a left hook that sent Vetyeka to the canvass in the fourth round.
Two seconds into the fifth round, the referee stopped the fight due to Donaire’s cut and the Filipino fighter was apologetic to the fans.
Donaire was leading the score card, 49-46, when the fight was stopped by the referee.
“I’m sorry that I was unable to give you guys a proper fight,” Donaire said in a post-fight interview as quoted by www.abs-cbnnews.com.
Donaire, now with 33 wins with 21 knockouts and two defeats, promised to give Vetyeka (26-2) a rematch.
It was Donaire’s second straight win after losing his WBO super bantamweight title to undefeated Guillermo Regondeaux of Cuba in April last year.