Overall, the country is closing the year on a winning note with four world champions. Donaire heads the list as WBO super bantamweight king, followed by WBA-WBO flyweight titlist Brian Viloria, IBF light flyweight champ Johnriel Casimero and WBO light flyweight counterpart Donnie Nietes. They accounted for nine title fight victories, with Donaire going unbeaten in four, Viloria in two, Casimero in two and Nietes in one.
Donaire, 30, enjoyed a phenomenal year. In February, he captured his fourth division crown by decisioning Puerto Rican Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. for the WBO super bantamweight (122 pounds) title. On July 7, Donaire unified the WBO and IBF belts by breaking the jaw of South African Jeffrey Mathebula in a lopsided decision win. On October 13, Donaire gave up the IBF crown but still defended the WBO belt with a methodical ninth round knockout of Japanese Toshiaki Nishioka. Donaire ended the year by bamboozling Mexican Jorge Arce in three rounds on December 15 for a career-high $1-million purse.
Viloria also provided fireworks with two impressive wins. On May 13, the “Hawaian Punch” defended the WBO flyweight crown for the second time by stopping Mexican Omar Nino Romero in nine rounds. On November 17, Viloria walked the tightrope before stopping Mexican Hernan “Tyson” Marquez in 10 rounds for the combined WBO-WBA flyweight belts. The 32-year-old Viloria is enjoying a career revival, having won his last six fights since suffering a traumatic knockout loss to Carlos Tamara in 2010.
Casimero and Nietes found themselves sharing the light flyweight (108 pounds) throne. Casimero captured the interim IBF belt in February by stopping Luis Lazarte in 10 rounds in Argentina. A pro-Lazarte crowd went nuts after the fight and threw debris into the ring, spoiling Casimero’s celebration. Lazarte, who repeatedly fouled Casimero with head-butts, low blows, and bit him twice, was banned for life by the IBF after the match. Casimero was subsequently recognized as regular IBF champion and he successfully defended the hardware by hacking out a split decision over Mexican Pedro Guevara on August 4.
Nietes, 31-1 with 17 knockouts, was a disappointment throughout the year. He only remained WBO champ because he hardly fought. Nietes made only one successful defense, a lukewarm decision win over Felipe Salguero on June 2. http://manilatimes.net/index.php/sports ... the-pieces