NONITO Donaire survived a game Cesar Juarez via unanimous decision to regain the World Boxing Organization (WBO) super-bantamweight title on Saturday (Manila time) in San Juan Puerto Rico.
The 33-year-old Filipino scored two knockdowns early in the 12-round fight, but found himself in trouble the last few rounds behind the relentless pressure put on by the Mexican.
Donaire though, managed to hang on and scored a unanimous decision in winning his fifth world title.
Judges scored it 116-110, 116-110, and 117-109.
The 'Filipino Flash' improved his record to 36-3, with 23 KOS as he got back a piece of the 122-lb. title belt which he lost to Cuba Guillermo Rigondeaux in 2013. Rigondeaux was stripped of the crown last month for inactivity.
Juarez is now 17-4 (13 KOs), but made a brawl of the potential Fight of the Year by coming back from two knockdowns he suffered in the fourth round.
The Filipino bore the brunt of a brutal fight as he sported a swollen left eye and a cut on the right eye, damage done to him by a Mexican warrior who earned his respect.
‘The guy was amazing. The guy was strong. I give it to him. I think that was the toughest fight I’ve ever been in my life,” said Donaire
It was the third straight win for Donaire since going back at 122 after losing to Nicolas Walters when he moved up in weight last year and vied for the World Boxing Association (WBA) featherweight championship.
“It was a hard, tremendous fight,” Juarez admitted. “We're both warriors.”