Filipino Flashes of Brilliance

By Eric Raskin

Jeffrey Mathebula, Nonito Donaire - Photo Credit: Will Hart

Ring announcer Lupe Contreras noted before the opening bell that the Nonito Donaire-Jeffrey Mathebula fight was dedicated to the memory of LeRoy Neiman, a man who, depending upon whom you ask, was either an iconic talent or the most overrated artist of his time. It was quite appropriate then that the boxing match dedicated to fight fanatic Neiman would feature pound-for-pound lister Donaire, with all of his polarizing qualities on display.

The fans at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California were treated to “Filipino Flashes” of brilliance from the 122-pound titlist, but they also watched the prodigious puncher somehow go the 12-round distance for the third time in row. In the end, Donaire won a clear-cut unanimous decision over Mathebula to unify a couple of alphabet belts, but it wasn’t the statement fight we’ve been waiting for since he shockingly flattened Fernando Montiel in two rounds 17 months ago.