The world's top flyweight is now in the running for that same position at super flyweight after Nonito Donaire handled the jump up to 115 pounds by outboxing Rafael Concepcion last night at the Hard Rock Casino in Las Vegas, NV.
At stake was the Interim WBA super fly crown, which Concepcion held at one point last year, and the Panamanian made every effort to make Donaire get into the trenches as Concepcion's natural size advantage was maximized after coming in more than four pounds above the super flyweight limit.
Concepcion might not have been able to assume the title even if he won the bout due to the weight overage but Donaire had no such limitation and fought a textbook bout, taking advantage of his edge in experience and quickness to outbox his bigger foe.
The busier style of Concepcion made it close but in the end, the judges favored the accuracy of Donaire, who was awarded a UD via scores of 117-111, 116-112 and 115-113.
Donaire improves to 22-1 (14), extending a winning streak that now stands at eight years and 21 bouts and annexing the Interim WBA super flyweight title. Concepcion drops to 13-4-1 (8).
WBO featherweight champ Steven Luevano, 37-1-1 (15), was also in action at the Hard Rock, retaining his belt for the fifth time when challenger Bernabe Concepcion, 28-3-1 (16), decked him after the bell sounded to end the seventh frame and was disqualified from a fight Luevano was winning.
On the undercard, lightweight Anthony Peterson, 29-0 (21), returned after a year away from the ring to solidly outpoint veteran Luis Antonio Arceo, 21-9-2 (14), in a ten rounder.