Nonito Donaire (inset) of The Philippines celebrates a unanimous decision over Jeffrey Mathebula of South Africa during the WBO IBF Super Bantamweight title fight at The Home Depot Center on July 7, 2012 in Carson, California. (MNS photo)

MANILA, July 9 (Mabuhay) – Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire defeated South African boxer Jeffrey Mathebula via unanimous decision to become the unified World Boxing Organization (WBO) and International Boxing Federation (IBF) super bantamweight champion.

Donaire won with scores of 117-110, 118-109, and 119-108.

“The Filipino Flash” nearly ended the fight when he knocked down Mathebula with a cracking left hand towards the end of the fourth round.

Donaire connected with a strong left hook to Mathebula’s chin, sending the South African to the canvas. Mathebula was saved by the bell, however, and the fight went the distance.

For 12 rounds, Donaire was troubled by Mathebula’s greater reach, as he often ate several punches while moving forward. But Donaire just shrugged off most of Mathebula’s punches and landed the more telling blows, especially in the later rounds.

After getting knocked down, Mathebula became more active in the fifth and sixth rounds, putting together a series of good combinations and keeping Donaire away with his longer reach. But Donaire again ignored Mathebula’s shots, often lunging forward to pepper Mathebula with left hands.

Mathebula spent most of the later rounds covering up, throwing jabs only to keep Donaire at distance. By the 11th round, he was on his skates after eating several power punches from Donaire.

Donaire, who clearly wanted to end the fight on a spectacular note, came out swinging in the 12th round and worked Mathebula’s body in an attempt to create an opening for a knockout.

But Mathebula was an unwilling partner, as he spent most of the final round on the defensive end.

Donaire’s record improved to 29 wins against one loss, with 18 wins coming by knockout. (MNS)