Nonito Donaire vs. Jeffrey Mathebula
2012-07-07 : Nonito Donaire 121½ lbs beat Jeffrey Mathebula 121¾ lbs by UD in round 12 of 12
- Location: Home Depot Center, Carson, California, USA
- Referee: Pat Russell
- Judge: Deon Dwarte 119-108
- Judge: Jonathan Davis 117-110
- Judge: Steve Morrow 118-109
- Promoter: Top Rank
- Ring Announcer: Lupe Contreras
- Aired On: HBO Boxing After Dark (Main Event)
- World Boxing Organization Super Bantamweight Title (1st defense by Donaire)
- International Boxing Federation Super Bantamweight Title (1st defense by Mathebula)
Nonito Donaire overcame a five and a half inch height disadvantage to claim his second world title at super bantamweight and win his 28th consecutive fight by defeating the rangy Jeffrey Mathebula. Donaire came forward, looked to get inside, and landed power shots that occasionally snapped back the head of the South African Mathebula and caused him to bleed heavily from a cracked tooth in Round 11. Mathebula moved around the ring, worked from a distance with jabs and straight right hands, and had created some swelling to the left eye of Donaire by Round 5. Donaire dropped Mathebula for the first time in his career with a counter left hook in the final seconds of Round 4. Mathebula got to his feet at the count of seven and staggered to his corner as the round had ended.
- Nonito Donaire 28-1 (18 KOs) vs. Jeffrey Mathebula 26-3-2 (14 KOs)
- Donaire entered as the # 3 junior featherweight contender by The Ring Magazine. Mathebula was ranked as the # 6 contender by the same publication.
- It was the second professional fight for Donaire at the 122-pound limit.
- It was the United States debut for Mathebula and only his second fight outside his native South Africa.
- Round 10 was two minutes and thirty seconds long.
- ESPN's Dan Rafael scored it 116-111 in favor of Donaire.
- "He was a tough guy. He was faster than I thought and difficult to counter. His jab took the elements out of my power. To me, a knockout is what I am always looking for and going into that eleventh round I knew I had to win them." - Nonito Donaire
- When asked about fighting at this weight class, Donaire replied, "One more belt and I am ready to go to 126 (pounds)."