MANILA - Nonito Donaire crowned himself as the new WBA "Super" bantamweight champion and marked his successful return to the 118-pound class Saturday night in Glasgow, United Kingdom (Sunday morning, Manila time).
The "Filipino Flash" walked away with the title after his opponent, Irish champion Ryan Burnett, went down with an injury near the close of the fourth round in the quarterfinals of their World Boxing Super Series.
Donaire was banging it out with Burnett when the latter was forced to his knees 50 seconds remaining in that frame after apparently injuring his back following a right cross.
Burnett was able to finish the round but was obviously in pain that he was unable to answer the bell in the fifth round.
"As a fighter, you got a guy like Burnett, an amazing fighter who who just kept on coming... to go that way wasn't something I like, but a win is a win," said Donaire following the bout.
He added that he felt comfortable fighting at bantamweight despite being away from the class for 7 years.
"I felt strong (at bantamweight). I think that's why I tried to come in here with so much power. I was the bigger guy," said Donaire.
Donaire upped his record to 39-5, while handing Burnett his first career loss in 20 fights.
Donaire will next face his South African friend, WBO champion Zolani Tete.
Tete hurdled his own quarterfinal match by beating Mikhail Aloyan of Russia last month.
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