Mon, Apr 20, 2009 - Page 19 News List

Donaire floors Martinez to keep flyweight crown

AP , MANILA, PHILIPPINES

Raul Marinez, left, of Mexico tries to avoid a punch from Nonito Donaire of the Philippines during their IBF flyweight title bout in suburban Quezon City, north of Manila, Philippines, yesterday. Donaire retained his crown with a technical knockout after the referee stopped the fight in the fourth round.

PHOTO: AP

Filipino boxer Nonito Donaire knocked down US challenger Raul Martinez four times yesterday to win by technical knockout and retain his International Boxing Federation flyweight title.

Donaire (21-1) pummeled the previously undefeated Martinez (24-1) with rapid punches to the head, sending him to the canvas a fourth time before the referee stopped the fight 2:42 into the fourth round.

“I just did what I had to do,” said the 26-year-old Donaire, who earlier vowed not to fail the big hometown crowd at Manila’s Araneta Coliseum.

Donaire worked early on ­Martinez, flooring him twice in the first round and once in the second. In the fourth round, Martinez took a sharp left uppercut and fell backward, prompting referee Pete Podgorski to stop the match. The Filipino crowd roared, chanting Donaire’s name.

Former Philippine president Joseph Estrada, who sat in the ringside, congratulated Donaire.

In a separate bout, US fighter Brian Viloria knocked out Ulises Solis of Mexico with a powerful right to the jaw in the 11th round to become the new IBF light flyweight champion.

The Hawaii-born Viloria (25-2), who is of Philippine ancestry, raised his arms in victory and shed tears as Solis lay on the canvas.

“He’s not a Filipino executioner no more. It ended today,” the 28-year-old Viloria said of Solis (28-2-2), who has defeated three Filipino fighters in the last two years.

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