Nonito Donaire defeated Jeffery Mathebula by unanimous decision International… (Harry How / Getty Images )
Nonito Donaire scored a unanimous decsion over Jeffrey Mathebula to capture the International Boxing Federation super-bantamweight title Saturday night at the Home Depot Center.
The title is the second in the 122-pound division for the Filipino-American. He now stands at 29-1 during a career in which he recently moved up to super-bantamweight.
The three judges scored in favor of Donaire, 117-110, 118-109 and 119-108.
What Mathebula (26-4-2) benefited from in height and reach — he is 41/2 inches taller — Donaire made up for in speed and power. Mathebula can punch from many different angles, but Donaire was effective at eluding many punches.
Donaire is known for exploding out of the gate with strong starts, and Saturday was no exception. He set the tone in the first round with impressive punches with both hands. Mathebula was tentative early and tried to weather the storm.
Donaire delivered a devastating left hook that knocked Mathebula to the canvas to end the fourth round, but the South African lasted all 12 rounds against Donaire, the crowd favorite.
While Mathebula made up some ground in the middle rounds, Donaire completed the win with an emphatic effort in the 11th and 12th rounds. Mathebula suffered an injury to the face and was bleeding at the end of the 11th, a round in which he did not land a punch.
Following the punch to the jaw, Mathebula was much more tentative as Donaire scored his 28th consecutive win.
Now, the attention shifts to a potential fight between Donaire and World Boxing Council 122-pound champion Abner Mares of Hawaiian Gardens, although it is unlikely the two will meet before 2013.
On the undercard, former middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik recorded a unanimous decision over Will Rosinsky.