Nonito Donaire was still in a blissful fog two days after his chilling second-round knockout of Fernando Montiel on Saturday in Las Vegas, not even certain that it really happened.
The new WBC and WBO bantamweight titleholder had to do a little research to convince himself that he had rocked the boxing world and touched even those who normally might not follow the sport.
“When I’m out of the ring, I have a different mentality,” he told RingTV.com on Monday. “In the ring, I’m very confident. I knew it was going to happen and it did. Now that I’ve cooled down, though, I’m the regular me. Now I’m asking myself, ‘Wow, did that happen?’
“We had to look at (the internet on) our phones to know that it was real. I’m thinking, ‘Wow, wow, wow. Are you kidding me?”
And it got better on Monday, when he learned he became THE RING’s No. 3-ranked fighter pound for pound and either entered or moved up on other important lists.
Again, all he could say was, “Wow!” And, apparently overwhelmed by it all, he went silent when he was told that the knockout was being shown and discussed on many general sports shows on television even two days after the fact.
Donaire also still can’t believe that Montiel was able to get up from the left hook to the side of the head that rendered him a twitching heap.
The brave Mexican veteran somehow was able to get to his feet and fight a few seconds more, until another left and right prompted referee Russell Mora to stop it. Robert Garcia, Donaire’ trainer, said Montiel obviously was in tremendous shape.
“When I saw him twitching like that, I started jumping in my corner,” Donaire said. “I knew he wasn’t going to get up. He got up, though. I was like, ‘Whoa.’ That’s why I went right at him; I knew he was already out.
“That was amazing. I have a lot of respect for him. That was the hardest punch I’ve ever hit anybody with.”
Donaire wanted to continue to enjoy the moment, not speculate what the future might hold.
He has said he’d like to fight the winner of the Joseph Agbeko-Abner Mares on April 23 in Los Angeles to unify three of the 118-pound titles. And, if that doesn’t happen, he’s open to moving up to 122 immediately.
Plus, his contract with Top Rank Boxing expires in May, which adds more uncertainty.
“I don’t really want to defend my title,” he said. “I want to fight for another title and then move up in weight. I feel strong as I move up in weight and I’m maintaining my speed and power.
“I really just want to fight the best out there. I’m very confident in my ability now. I’m really motivated. I want to keep this going.”