Nonito Donaire ready for stardom after quick, devastating TKO of Montiel

Nonito Donaire, Jr. popped Fernando Montiel with a counter left hook and dropped the Mexican champion, who got up to absorb only two more punches before the fight was stopped at 2:25 of the second round in Las Vegas.

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The bantamweight brawl was more like a quick street fight as the younger and taller Donaire proved why he was the prohibitive favorite to take Montiel's WBO and WBC 118 pound belts. He won his twenty-sixth consecutive fight, his third title in a different weight class, rising to the level of the one of the elite pound-for-pound fighters in the game today.

After moving up from 115 lbs. to bantamweight, Donaire pummeled former title holder Wladimir Sidorenko in four rounds last December and made it known on Saturday night at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino that he likes the 118 lb. class but is willing to move up and conquer after his latest victory.

The Filipine native who to moved the San Francisco Bay area at the age of 10, Donaire, 27 (26-1, 18 KOs) solidified his relationship with head trainer Robert Garcia. The young Donaire had split with his father, Nonito Sr. in 2008 in a bitter and sad family tussle that has left them estranged.

As his wife Rachel said, during HBO's pre-fight coverage, in the Filipino culture, it is difficult and frowned upon to defy your parents and refuse to go along with their wishes.

Nonito Jr. has said that his father's methods which took him from a boy to a top ranked fighter, had stripped him of his ability to be a child and had soured him on his profession. He claims that he hated boxing and everything about it until he realized that he needed to have his career guided by someone else.

In contrast to that, Fernando Montiel (44-3-2, 34 KOs) says he's got twelve family members involved in his boxing life who surround him when he fights. Montiel brought with him his rabid Mexican fight fans who lustily booed Donaire when the Filipine challenger entered the ring.

They were stunned into silence when ring referee Russell Mora stopped the fight in the second round. Donaire watched as his opponent fell to the canvas after a blistering left hook. Montiel fell on his back, legs twitching wildly before he was able to stand up again while Mora counted to ten.

Giving the titleholder the respect due him, he allowed the fight to continue. It lasted only the length of a left-right combination from the pumped up Donaire prior to calling a halt to the proceedings.

Donaire now rises to superstar status and is in line to either unify the 118 pound weight class or move up to fight a multitude of contenders. In two months Showtime's bantamweight tournament will crown a winner between finalists Abner Mares and Joseph Agbeko. Showtime tried to get Donaire and Montiel to participate in a six-man round robin event but they declined.

Mares and Agbeko made it to the finals after taking their fights over Vic Darchinyan and Yonnhy Perez respectively. Once a winner is declared, it remains to be seen if Donaire's promoter Bob Arum will have already booked his young title holder to fight someone else.

Montiel was unable to take part in any post-fight media discussions as he was whisked to a local hospital for observation and precautionary measures. Donaire, whose countryman Manny Pacquiao was said to have been on his way into the arena just as the bout was called, is giddy to be discussed in the conversation for second place in the pound-for-pound conversation. Does he think he could ever challenge the great Pacquiao? No way said Donaire, he's very happy being #2.

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