The Filipino Flash is back!
Nonito Donaire delivered his signature left hook power punch on late replacement Stephon Young in the seventh round of a scheduled 12-round WBA bantamweight championship bout.
The fight took place at the Cajundome in Lafayette, Louisiana as the co-main event of the Regis Prograis vs. Kiryl Relikh WBA super lightweight world championship headliner.
Donaire (40-5, 26 KOs) at 36 years old and going down in weight to 118-pounds from 126-pounds he proved the doubters wrong who questioned his decision to drop down in weight.
It is an impressive resurgence for Nonito after being written off at featherweight. He showed that the weight cut at his age was no issue and his power at bantamweight is still there.
Young (18-2-3, 7 KOs) was brought in as a last-minute replacement for WBO bantamweight champion Zolani Tete who pulled out of the fight just a few days from the scheduled bout due to shoulder pain he felt on Monday.
Early in the fight Young did his best to try to outbox the Filipino puncher. The challenger was moving and trying to play it safe but Nonito kept stalking him and walking him down.
In the seventh round Nonito landed his left hook counter right on the chin dropping Young flat on his back with his eyes rolled back and his body stiff as a board.
The referee didn’t finish the count and stopped the fight at 2:37 of round 7 as he saw Young was out cold and unresponsive.
After the knockout, Nonito showed concern and kneeled next to Young as the medical team checked on him. Once Young was awake, Nonito went to talk with him and graciously commended him for taking the fight.
This was vintage Donaire. He believes bantamweight is his natural weight division and wants to clean out the division unifying all the titles.
Donaire advances to the finals of the World Boxing Super Series Bantamweight tournament and is one step closer to the Muhammad Ali Trophy.