Nonito Donaire became a five-weight world title holder after what was a confusing technical decision win over Simpiwe Vetyeka at Cotai Arena in Macau. ‘The Filipino Flash’ picked up the WBA ‘super’ featherweight belt as a result of the fight being stopped following the completion of four rounds.
Donaire, 31, went down at the very end of the first round, which later became clear that was caused by an accidental headbutt was the culprit. Referee Luis Pabon appeared not to count the clash of heads and Donaire suffered a bad round in the second as a consequence. Doctors checked him over twice in the session and in the third, Donaire came out with much more urgency and rocked Vetyeka on a couple of occasions.
In the fourth, as Donaire upped the tempo further, the champion was dropped heavily and took the whole round to recover as the challenger continually blinked with blood pouring into his eye.
Following a further check by the ringside physician, Donaire was given the okay to carry on, only for Pabon to clarify with the WBA officials that he wanted to stop the fight.
After a debate, Pabon told both fighters that the contest was over and then, seemingly for the first time in the encounter, made it clear that a headbutt caused the cut and the clash would go to the scorecard at what was the earliest point available for which Donaire could win the title.
Judges ringside cared exactly the same as me with 39-36 (called even more confusingly as 49-46) being the score all round as a bewildered Donaire was declared the new world champion.
After the fight, Donaire sympathetically offered Vetyeka a rematch as he stated that he would rather win the title the proper way and not on a TD.
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