Nonito Donaire Jr. formalized his entry into boxing's current elite and emerged as another Filipino boxing superstar, destroying his first big-name opponent in years in Mexican Fernando Montiel in two rounds to claim the WBC and WBO bantamweight championships at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas today.
Donaire landed a devastating counter left hook to the head that sent Montiel on his back, legs twitching, two minutes into the second round. A visibly shaken Montiel beat the mandatory eight count but the Filipino cracked him with a couple of unanswered blows, prompting the referee to stop the bout at the round's 2:25 mark.
Donaire started out the fight strong, displaying fine counter-punching while maintaining his distance against Montiel, a known slugger. The Filipino, a switch-hitter, landed a handful of counter hooks to Montiel's head to finish the first round on top.
With the win, Donaire (26-1, 18 KOs) clinched his third world title in three divisions, having been champion at flyweight (112 lbs) and superflyweight (115 lbs). Montiel, also a champion in three weight classes, absorbed his third loss – the first via knockout.