South Africa's Simpiwe Vetyeka falls after being punched by Nonito Donaireduring their the WBA world featherweight tittle fight at the Venetian Macao hotel in Macau. Photo by Tyrone Siu, Reuters
MANILA, Philippines – New world featherweight champion Nonito "The Filipino Flash" Donaire wants to grant an immediate rematch to the fighter he dethroned, Simpiwe Vetyeka of South Africa, after their title bout ended in a less than satisfactory manner.
Donaire, seeking a title in a fifth different weight division, was cut badly above his left eye due to a headbutt in the very first round, but refused the referee’s offer to stop the fight. He registered a knockdown in the fourth round, but before the fifth round started, “The Filipino Flash” told the referee that he could no longer see.
All three judges scored the bout 49-46 in Donaire’s favor, giving him the victory via technical decision and the World Boxing Association (WBA) featherweight belt.
“It’s disappointing that things ended the way it did,” Donaire said in the post-fight press conference. “Hopefully, we can do it again.”
Donaire said that the first-round headbutt had left him “out of it.”
“I didn’t know what the hell was going on,” he admitted. “I thought I was in sparring.”
“It was just natural instinct (to keep fighting),” he added. “I wanted to do it so bad for the fans. There was nothing that said ‘quit’ in my vocabulary.”
Donaire was clear in his desire to give Vetyeka a rematch, as he commended the South African’s camp for being “very courteous and respectful” throughout the whole process.
“Me and Vetyeka need to do this all over again, because he is an amazing fighter, and I want to congratulate him for being an amazing fighter,” he said. “Hopefully, we can do it again here. Hopefully, we can get an amazing fight for you guys all over again.”
Vetyeka, who suffered his third career loss, welcomed Donaire’s invitation of a rematch.
“As to how the fight ended, I don’t know what to say,” said the South African through an interpreter. “I’m just disappointed, but I’m happy that the promoters are mentioning a rematch, so we can clear the air.”
“But for now, I think it is proper for me to say congratulations to Nonito Donaire, and we’ll see in November, when I come back, I will come back stronger,” he stressed.
Top Rank chief executive Bob Arum, who promoted the fight, said they will do the rematch “as soon as possible,” but they will have to wait until Donaire’s cuts have healed.
“I think we’ll all have the opportunity to see that fight again, and hopefully this time, it goes to a more satisfying conclusion,” Arum said.
Arum suggested in an interview with Dyan Castillejo of ABS-CBN News that the Donaire-Vetyeka rematch may be held in November, also in Macau, as part of the fight card for the next fight date of Manny Pacquiao.
“I’d like it maybe to be on Manny’s card,” said Arum. -- With a report from Dyan Castillejo, ABS-CBN News.