An explosive left hook by WBA interim super flyweight titlist Nonito Donaire stretched WBO and WBC bantamweight champion Fernando Montiel on the canvas in February. Both of Montiel’s arms were briefly extended over his head, and his legs twitched involuntarily before a stunned crowd at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.
Montiel (46-3-2, 36 KOs) tried to rise twice before referee Russell Mora rightfully stepped in to protect him from further damage.
With that, the 28-year-old Donaire (26-1, 18 KOs) scored a knockout at 2:25 of the second round, earned his 25th straight victory and his 10th knockout in his past 12 fights, and ended an 11-0-1 unbeaten streak for Montiel that had included nine knockouts.
Stopped for the first time in his career by Donaire, Montiel is among five Mexican fighters to have won world titles over the course of three divisions. He was coming off a sensational fourth-round knockout over Hozumi Hasegawa, who was in search of his sixth straight stoppage during a 25-fight winning streak that had included 11 knockouts.
Donaire’s stoppage of Montiel ranked among the best ever witnessed by 79-year-old Top Rank Inc. CEO Bob Arum, who handled every fight in the career of Marvelous Marvin Hagler, substantial portions of those of Pacquiao, Mayweather, Sugar Ray Leonard, Roberto Duran and Oscar De La Hoya, and who also helped to mastermind the comeback of George Foreman.
“I’ve been around a long time, and that was one of the most devastating punches that I have ever seen. I mean, he caved in Montiel’s face. I mean, it was scary as s–t. It just demonstrates to me that Nonito is not only a good boxer, but that he has lethal power in his hands,” said Arum.
“Fernando Montiel was considered to be one of the great bantamweights in the world, now everybody knows the result of that fight. That was a tremendous knockout win for Nonito Donaire. Everybody who follows boxing knows that he’s one of the best fighters pound-for-pound. He’s one of the most exciting figures in boxing today, and one of the future super stars in the sport.”
Donaire’s skills will be on display, yet again, when makes his New York and East Coast debut in defense of his belts against WBO junior bantamweight titleholder Omar Narvaez (35-0, 23 KOs) at Madison Square Garden on Oct. 22.
“Narvaez is an incredible fighter and a champion and a legend in Argentina. As a fighter, I’m there to fight anybody,” said Donaire.
“Being at Madison Square Garden, where there has been a historical list of fighters who have fought there, it’s an honor. For me to be fighting at Madison Square Garden, much as I did in the last fight, we want to go in there and prove ourselves.”