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Donaire defeats Mathebula; Pavlik decisions Rosinsky

Kelly Pavlik Nonito DonaireBy Jim Dower: WBO super bantamweight champion Nonito Donaire (29-1, 18 KO’s) captured a second title at super bantamweight against IBF super bantamweight champion Jeffrey Mathebula (26-4-2, 14 KO’s) on Saturday night at the Home Depot Center, in Carson, California, The scores showed how well Donaire dominated the fight, as he was given a wide decision by the judges with them scoring it 117-110, 118-109 and 119-108.

However, the actual fight was a little closer than the scores would have you believe but not much closer. Donaire was the much bigger puncher, and he made it a point of landing a high number of hard shots in every round. To his credit, Mathebula showed an excellent chin by taking the best shots Donaire could dish out by only going down once in the fight in the 4th round from a big left hook by Donaire. Mathebula also suffered a cracked tooth in the 11th after getting hit by a solid right hand by Donaire.

Mathebula had been picking up some momentum going into the 11th, but Donaire changed all of that by hitting him hard with a right hand. For the remainder of the round, Donaire landed nearly at will against a hurt Mathebula, who kept his gloves tucked underneath his chin as if holding his lower jaw up.

Mathebula lacked power and hand speed. This kept him from really doing much with Donaire other than jabbing. Perhaps one reason Mathebula lasted the entire 12 rounds was because he played it safe by throwing few right hands, which left Donaire very little counter of off. Donaire is a counter puncher, and he’s also really good at nailing his opponents with left hooks when they charge forward. Mathebula did little of that on Saturday night, and that left Donaire having to initiate his own offense. He did do a good job of it, but he was never able to land a big enough shot to take Mathebula out.

On the positive side, Donaire showed excellent footwork with the way he moved around the ring, changing angles constantly and keeping Mathebula guessing. Donaire’s power and hand speed were excellent. But Donaire needs improvement on throwing more jabs, because he would have been much more effective had he jabbed his way instead of just looking to take Mathebula out with pot shots. Donaire also needs to throw more combinations instead of loading up so much with single shots. In the lighter weights, Donaire could get away with loading up because his power was much more devastating, but at super bantamweight, he’s not the same kind of puncher and he needs to throw combinations to get the job done. Defensively, Donaire is going to need to start holding his guard higher, because he was hit a lot by Mathebula with head shots. It wasn’t an issue for this fight, because Mathebula had no power to speak of, but if this were Guillermo Rigodeaux in there with Donaire, I doubt Donaire would last more than five rounds. Rigondeaux would simply knock him out with head shots or body shots. Of course, Donaire will likely avoid that fight entirely, so it may not be an issue, but when he moves up to featherweight he’s going to need to fix the problem, even if he avoids the best fighters at that weight such as Yuriorkis Gamboa and Orlando Salido.

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In the co-feature bout, super middleweight contender #5 WBO, #8 IBF, #9 WBA, #10 WBC Kelly Pavlik (40-2, 34 KO’s) won a 10 round unanimous decision against Will Rosinsky (16-2, 9 KO’s). The final judges’ scores were 97-92, 98-91, 98-91. Pavlik showed good power and constant pressure to get the win. He knocked Rosinsky down in the 2nd round from a right to the head. It was more of a flash knockdown, though, because Rosinsky didn’t see the shot coming and wasn’t really hurt by it. Pavlik was later cut above the left eye from a clash of heads in the 4th round.

Rosinsky made it tough for Pavlik using a lot of movement, and throwing combinations. Rosinsky lacked power and that made things much easier for Pavlik, because the fight in many ways was similar to the last fighter that Pavlik fought in Scott Sigmon. Like Sigmon, Rosinsky lacked power and hand speed, making it much easier on Pavlik to stock him around the ring punching him at will.

After the fight Pavlik mentioned wanting to step it up for either a title shot or to face the big names in the super middleweight division. He specifically said he would like to fight Carl Froch, Mikkel Kessler and Andre Ward.

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Other results on undercard:

Victor Pasillas TKO 3 Jesus Adame
KeAndre Gibson UD 6 Moris Rodriguez
Eric Flores UD 4 Raymond Nichol
Jose Roman TKO 1 Rodolfo Armenta
Brad Solomon UD 8 Hector Munoz
Andy Ruiz, Jr TKO 8 Jonte Willis

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