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MANILA, Philippines – It wasn’t exactly the way Nonito Donaire wanted his fight with Irishman Ryan Burnett to end, but eventually the Filipino Flash relished being a world champion again.
Burnett suffered a back injury and was unable to stand from his stool in the 4th round, yielding his World Boxing Association bantamweight crown to Donaire on Saturday, November 3, in Glasgow, Scotland.
Apart from bagging his 7th world title, the 4-division champion advances to the World Boxing Super Series semifinals against World Boxing Organization champion Zolani Tete of South Africa.
After throwing a right straight 50 seconds left in the 4th, Burnett crumbled on his knee, clutched his right back in pain, beat the count, then withered a flurry of punches from Donaire to plod back to his corner.
Still hurting, Burnett was stretchered out of the SSE Hydro Arena on oxygen with a forlorn Donaire, now 38-5 with 25 knockouts, holding the ropes for the fallen champion.
Donaire, who’s turning 36 on November 16, praised his 26-year-old opponent who tasted defeat for the first time after 19 wins, 9 by knockout.
“It’s not the way I want to win, but a win’s a win” said Donaire, who referred to Burnett as an amazing fighter. “He was fast, strong and caught me with some good punches.”
The first 3 rounds was close, with both fighters exchanging heavy blows throughout.
It was Donaire’s first fight as a bantamweight in 7 years, dropping 8 pounds when he lost by decision to another Irishman, Carl Frampton, on April 21.
Donaire later tweeted: “First off, I want to acknowledge and thank God and my Archangels for everything they put before me tonight. Next I would like to send prayers of healing to Ryan Burnett and thank him for sharing the ring with me. I know he’ll heal up and be back in the ring soon!”
First off, I want to acknowledge and thank God and my Archangels for everything they put before me tonight. Next I would like to send prayers of healing to Ryan Burnett and thank him for sharing the ring with me. I know he’ll heal up and be back in the ring soon! pic.twitter.com/cJoOulLnVW— Nonito Donaire (@filipinoflash) November 3, 2018
While Burnett’s injury manifested in the 4th, it was probably triggered by a wicked left hook landed by Donaire late in the 3rd round.
According to BBC.com, Burnett complained to his trainer, Adam Booth, that he cannot move and “cannot throw a shot there” during the break.
Burnett actually suffered a back injury after winning a gold medal in the 2010 Olympic Youth Games in Singapore, forcing him out of competition for over a year and stalling his turning pro to 2012.
For now, Donaire said he intends to enjoy Scotland with his wife Rachel and sons Jarel Michael and Jarel Logan.
A well-deserved treat fit for a multiple champion. – Rappler.com