MANILA, Philippines – (UPDATED) Malacañang on Sunday commended Nonito "The Filipino Flash" Donaire for his unanimous technical decision victory over South Africa’s Simpiwe Vetyeka that led him to annex the World Boxing Association featherweight title.
Donaire overcame a deep laceration above his left eye to knock down Vetyeka in the fourth round. And when the referee stopped the fight before the start of the fifth frame, it was Donaire who was declared the winner.
"Kaisa po tayo ng buong sambayanan sa pagdiriwang at pagtanghal sa tagumpay ni Nonito 'The Filipino Flash' Donaire at sa kanyang pagkamit ng bagong kampeonato sa larangan ng boxing," Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said.
"Makikita po natin kay 'The Flash' ang giting at husay ng Pilipinong atleta na sumasalamin din sa tatag ng kalooban ng mga Pilipino na lampas an ang mga hamon at adbersidad sa buhay," Coloma added.
Vice President Jejomar Binay also praised Donaire, saying his victory was a "testament to the indomitable Filipino spirit of having to push on despite seemingly overwhelming odds."
"Despite the abrupt end of the match, the 'Filipino Flash' has once again proven that he is the better fighter, as proven by the unanimous decision of the judges," Binay said in a statement.
"I admire his sportsmanship and sense of fairness, and I hope that his latest victory will serve as yet another inspiration to all Filipino athletes," he added.
Donaire has now won world championships in five different weight divisions, one of which was an interim belt. He was not fully satisfied with his victory, however, and offered to give Vetyeka a rematch to settle the issue.