In a stunning outcome that nobody wanted to see go down the way it did, Nonito Donaire regained a 118-pound title today in Glasgow, as Ryan Burnett was forced to retire from the fight after four rounds of action due to what appeared to be a lower back injury.
Burnett (19-1, 9 KO) had a nice first two rounds against Donaire (39-5, 25 KO), but Nonito held his ground, too, and BLH had him winning the third and fourth rounds.
The fourth round was where the fight ended, as Burnett missed on a right hand and took a knee immediately, clutching at his lower back. He got up and finished the round, with Donaire looking to tee off on Burnett, in what essentially became target practice. The round ended and Burnett went back to his corner, clearly hurting. The fight was called off there, giving Donaire the victory and the WBA “super world” title at 118 pounds, in his first fight at that weight in seven years.
Donaire was professional and gentlemanly post-fight, repeatedly checking on Burnett, including after his post-fight interview. Burnett was eventually stretchered out of the ring, and hopefully the injury isn’t anything too serious.
Donaire now moves on to the semifinal round of the World Boxing Super Series, where he’ll face WBO titleholder Zolani Tete (28-3, 21 KO).