source: Marc Anthony Reyes | Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—It was a left counterpunch that nobody saw coming. Especially not Fernando Montiel.
Nonito Donaire Jr.’s sensational second round annihilation of the feared Mexican title-holder to wrest the WBC and WBO bantamweight titles at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas last Feb. 19 was enshrined in the sport by ESPN and RingTV.com as Knockout of the Year for 2011.
Fighting for the first time in the bantamweight division against no less than a three-division champion in Montiel, Donaire used his natural quickness and powerful fists to fend off the Mexican warrior in the first round.
Then the end came in the second round.
As ESPN.com recounted it: “Montiel landed a short right hand, but Donaire came over the top immediately with a pinpoint counter left hook to the side of the face. Montiel never saw it coming. As he was falling into Donaire on his way to the mat, Donaire got in a little window-dressing right hand to the head.”
Montiel tried to get up, but his body betrayed him. His legs twitched in a scary way while his hands laid outstretched.
Referee Russel Mora, showing too much respect for the fallen champion but little concern over his safety, green-lighted him to go on. But Donaire, all fired up, swarmed on Montiel in an instant, forcing the referee to thankfully stop the carnage.
The slam-bang fight easily eclipsed that of Nabuhiro Ishida’s first-round KO of James Kirkland in April, according to RingTV pool which gave the Donaire-Montiel fight 78.1 percent in readers’ voting.