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Nonito Donaire fails to retake WBC bantamweight belt as Alexandro Santiago scores UD win

Alexandro Santiago connects on a right-hand punch to Nonito Donaire. Getty Images
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--Nonito Donaire missed out on reclaiming the WBC bantamweight championship after bowing to Alexandro Santiago in their showdown on Sunday (Philippine Time) in Las Vegas.

The 27-year-old Santiago, a former Jerwin Ancajas opponent, showed the 40-year-old Donaire that age might have already caught up with him as he survived an early scare to win by unanimous decision.

Santiago looked to be destined for the title after somehow flashing brilliance in the first two rounds, but come Round 3, Donaire staggered Santiago with his signature left hook that eventually opened a cut above his left eye.

It turned out to be Donaire's lone shining moment as Santiago recovered from there and even forced a swelling in Donaire's face.

One judge scored the bout 115-113, but two others tallied it 116-112 all for Santiago, who finally won a world title after barely missing out on his bid to dethrone Ancajas in the super flyweight.

Santiago moved up to 28-3-5 with 14 knockouts, while Donaire slipped to 42-8 with 28 KOs, dropping back-to-back bouts for the first time in his already illustrious career.

Follow him on X: @IvanSaldajeno

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