Donaire world champ again after dethroning Burnett in bizarre fashion

Nonito Donaire won his eighth world title as erstwhile Ryan Burnett suffered a late fourth round injury. WBSS
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--Nonito Donaire once again walked home with a world boxing title after edging Great Britain's Ryan Burnett for the World Boxing Association bantamweight super belt at The SSE Hydro Arena in Glasgow early Sunday (Philippine Time).

While the victory was declared a technical knockout for the General Santos and Talibon native, who fought in Great Britain for the second straight time, the fight ended in an awkward manner.

With only 53 seconds remaining in Round 4, Burnett, after unleashing a right hook, tweaked his lower back, forcing him to kneel down and take an eight-count from the referee.

The injury seemed to have stemmed in the third round, when Donaire connected on a left hook, which has been his trademark punch, to Burnett's right side.

Burnett survived Donaire's flurry to end the fourth round, but with his back injury aggravated, he told the referee that he could not continue, forcing him to relinquish the title to Donaire.

Donaire, who claimed his eighth world title belt, moved up to 39-5 with 25 knockouts, while Burnett suffered his first professional boxing loss after a 19-0 start.

The said match is part of the inaugural World Boxing Super Series bantamweight tournament, pitting eight of the world's best fighters in the 118-pound division.

The WBA regular champ, Japan's Naoya Inoue, is also part of the said tournament, successfully defending his belt against Juan Carlos Payano of Dominican Republic through a first round knockout.

Meanwhile, Emmanuel Rodriguez of Puerto Rico retained his International Boxing Federation belt after a split decision win against Australia's Jason Moloney, while South Africa's Zolani Tete remains the World Boxing Organization champ after defeating Russia's Mikhail Aloyan via unanimous decision.

Donaire will next face Tete, while Inoue and Rodriguez will toss up in title unification bouts that will highlight the semifinals of the said tournament.

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