Home Boxing News Nonito Donaire weighs up future after world title loss to Alexandro Santiago

Nonito Donaire weighs up future after world title loss to Alexandro Santiago

Alexandro Santiago (right) defeated Nonito Donaire. Photo credit: Al Bello/Getty Images

The future of Nonito ‘The Filipino Flash’ Donaire 42-8 (28) remains up in the air after he fell short in his bid to win the vacant WBC bantamweight title against Alexandro ‘Peque’ Santiago 28-3-5 (14) at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on Saturday night.

The 40-year-old Filipino veteran struggled with the pace set by Santiago and couldn’t seem to pull the trigger on his counter punches.

Donaire cut Santiago in the early rounds with a left hook but was unable capitalise. Mexican underdog Santiago, 27, fought his heart out throughout the contest as he pressured the former four-weight world champion from the first bell until the last.

Judges Max DeLuca saw the bout 115-113, while judges Chris Migliore and Steve Weisfeld both turned in cards of 116-112, all for Santiago.

“It is so hard to explain this moment right now,” said Santiago, whose only loss in the last nine years was a majority decision to then-undefeated Gary Antonio Russell two years ago. “All the work we put in for just this moment. It’s amazing just to win this title.

“It has been an honour to fight such a legend like Nonito Donaire. He said thank you for giving me this great fight and I appreciated him saying that.”

Donaire has been a fixture in world title fights for the past 16 years following his breakthrough win over Vic Darchinyan to hand him his first win and claim his IBF flyweight title in 2007.

Since then he has won world championships at bantamweight, super bantamweight and featherweight in a surefire Hall of Fame career.

Donaire has been competing at the top level for so long we almost take it for granted. On Saturday night, all the indications were there that he may well be approaching the end of the line.

“I’m disappointed,” said Donaire, who was coming off a second-round knockout loss to multi-weight world champion Naoya Inoue in June last year. “This is a blessing to do this for a very long time. I feel good still. Congratulations to Alexandro. He deserves it. He is a tough guy.

“I was trying to counter so much and put so much power into it. I tried to fight like a warrior, which was something we didn’t train to do.”

Before the fight Donaire said he would discuss his future with his manager and wife Rachel, indicating a subpar performance would likely see him hang up the gloves.

The writing, it seems, is on the wall.

“I love the sport so much,” said Donaire. “We just have to go back to the locker room, talk about it and see where we go from there.

“There were just some times there where I didn’t pull the trigger. That was my biggest problem.”