Sunday, August 16, 2009

Donaire dominates Concepcion
LAS VEGAS, Nevada, August 15, 2009 (AFP) - Rising Filipino fighter Nonito Donaire earned a 12-round unanimous decision over a bloodied Rafael Concepcion Saturday to capture the World Boxing Association interim super flyweight title.

Donaire, who vacated his International Boxing Federation flyweight title to move up in weight, improved to 22-1 with his 21st straight victory.

"I'm here to give honor to my country," Donaire said. "We are great fighters. I came here to represent and fight with all of my heart."

The ringside judges saw it 117-111, 115-113 and 116-112 for the 26-year-old Filipino, who opened a cut under Concepcion's left eye in the second round with his punishing jab.

Donaire nearly sent Concepcion to the canvas with a flurry of blows to end the third round, and while he took some punishment in the middle rounds he never appeared in serious jeopardy.

"The cut really bothered me in the first few rounds, but I got used to it," said Panama's Concepcion, who fell to 13-4-1 and grumbled about Donaire's style.

"He didn't want to fight, he wanted to run," Concepcion said. "I knew he was a great fighter, a great technician. If he would have had a warriors' heart, we would have exchanged more."

Donaire, who made three successful defenses of his flyweight belt, will now be setting his sights on the super flyweight division's marquee names, including Fernando Montiel and Jorge Arce.

"Those are the guys on top of me," Donaire said. "I want to fight them to prove I belong."

Concepcion had weighed in four pounds over the limit. Although Donaire agreed to go on with the fight, Concepcion couldn't have claimed the title and will forfeit 20 percent of his purse.

"Those extra pounds were definitely a disadvantage," Donaire said. "But I am a warrior. I would have still fought if he was 20 pounds over weight. If he didn't have the extra weight, I would have knocked him out in the beginning.

"I'm ready for the big guys in that weight class," Donaire added. "That guy was a 122-pounder tonight and he was tough, but I proved I could fight at that weight."


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