Nonito Donaire answers questions during his press conference on Monday.
MANILA, Philippines – Eleven stitches were needed to close the cut above the left eye of new World Boxing Association (WBA) champion Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire, which may take some three months to heal completely.
The deep gash opened above Donaire’s left eye after an accidental clash of heads with South African boxer Simpiwe Vetyeka during their WBA title fight last Saturday at the Cotai Arena in Macau.
“I had a cut mga eight years ago, but it’s not as big as this one,” Donaire said in a press conference on Monday. “This one talaga, (it needed) 11 stitches.”
The cut clearly bothered Donaire throughout the fight, as both blood and the medicine used to keep the cut in check wound up dripping into his eye and hampering his vision.
Donaire said he was asked by the ring doctor time and again if he wanted to stop the fight, but refused each time.
“Every round, and every time na sinasabi niya, ‘Okay, ihihinto ko ito,’ sabi ko, ‘Don’t stop the fight. I want to keep fighting,’” he said. “Every time na tinawag ‘yung doctor, the ref kept saying, ‘Let me stop the fight, so you’ll be safe,’ ang sabi ko, ‘I want to keep fighting.’”
The fight, scheduled for 12 rounds, was stopped after the fourth frame and Donaire was awarded a unanimous technical decision victory.
Afterwards, his cut was quickly attended to by a doctor in Macau.
“The doctor in Macau did a really good job in closing the cut,” Donaire said. “We didn’t wait for it. Usually, maghihintay kami ng matagal, but a doctor came and grabbed me and stitched me up right away.”
“So malaking tulong ‘yun sa healing process, kaya right now, hindi na makapal ‘yung swelling. It’s not too swollen,” he added.
Donaire said the stitches will be taken out after six to seven days, but it will take longer for the cut to heal completely.
“To completely heal, it should take about three months,” he said. “But in two months, it should be okay, but we want it to be completely healed.”