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Boxing | International

Nonito Donaire watches Fernando Montiel start to fall to the canvas after he hit him in the second round © Getty Images

Another star from Philippines



Nonito Donaire stopped Fernando Montiel in the second round to win the WBC and WBO bantamweight titles in Las Vegas on Saturday night.

Donaire, a Filipino-American who made his bantamweight debut in December, ended Montiel's reign with a left hook 2 minutes 25 seconds into the second round.

The new champion controlled most of the fight. He landed a left hook that stunned the champion in the first round and came out swinging in the second, landing a few combinations before knocking Montiel to the canvas with another left hook.

Montiel surprisingly made it back to his feet but the referee stopped the fight moments later.

"I needed to be strong but the speed was the key. He left himself open and that gave me the advantage," the new champion said. "I was surprised he got up after I landed that flush shot."

Donaire has now won 25 consecutive fights, improving his record to 26-1 with 18 knockouts. Montiel dropped to 44-3-2 (34 KOs).

"I just came out there believing in what I had," Montiel said. "I want to be undisputed in this weight class, if not I want to go up in weight."

"I knew we both had the punching power to knock each other out," he said. "I made the first mistake and I paid for it."

The clash between the two top bantamweights in the world drew a big crowd. Montiel is a 31-year-old Mexican and Donaire comes from General Santos City, where superstar Manny Pacquiao also lives.

Donaire had beaten Ukrainian Wladimiro Sidorenko in his previous fight to extend his win streak to 24 fights. He had won the IBF flyweight title in July 2007 when he knocked out unbeaten and highly regarded Vic Darchinyan in the fifth round.

Having fought at the top level for the past ten years, he has now confirmed his status as No 1 bantamweight in the world after knocking out WBC champion Hozumi Hasegawa last year.

He was only 17 years old when he made his professional debut. In December 2000 he won the WBO flyweight belt with a seventh-round stoppage over Isidro Perez.

JONES REMAINS UNDEFEATED

In the co-main event, American welterweight Mike Jones remained undefeated with a unanimous decision against Jesus Soto Karass of Mexico in a rematch of their controversial fight last November.

Jones pulled off a majority decision in that bout, which many thought could have gone either way.

This time, he cut Soto Karass over both eyes in the third round Saturday on his way to a 115-113, 116-112 and 117-111 victory.

On the undercard, welterweight prospect Mark Melligen earned a unanimous decision win over Gabriel Martinez and Mickey Bey and Jose Hernandez fought to a majority draw.

STURM STOPS HEARNS

In Stuttgart, Germany, Felix Sturm stopped American Ronald Hearns in the seventh round of a middleweight bout.

The WBA champion improved his record to 35-2-1; 15 in what was probably one of his best performances.

Hearns, son of former world champion Thomas Hearns, dropped to 26-2; 20 when the German put him on the canvas with a huge right hand.

The referee, Raul Caiz, stopped the bout when it was clear Hearns was unable to continue.



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