File photo: IBF junior featherweight champion from South Africa, Jeffrey Mongoose Mathebula and four-division world champion Nonito Donaire the "Filipino Flash," from Philippines, pose at the Fortune Gym in Los Angeles.

Los Angeles - Filipino star Nonito Donaire earned a 12-round unanimous decision over South Africa's Jeffrey Mathebula on Saturday in a super bantamweight world title unification bout.

Donaire improved to 29-1 with 18 knockouts, winning his 28th straight fight in a streak dating back to 2001.

He retained the World Boxing Organisation crown he won in February in a split decision over Puerto Rico's Wilfredo Vazquez and captured Mathebula's International Boxing Federation belt.

Donaire was the aggressor against his much taller opponent, and dropped Mathebula late in the fourth round.

Mathebula stayed active, although he was cleary hurt by a blow to the jaw in the 11th.

The ringside judges scored it 117-110, 118-109 and 119-108 in favour of Donaire.

Mathebula fell to 26-4 with two drawn and 14 knockouts. He was making the first defence of the title he won in March in South Africa with a split-decision triumph over compatriot Takalani Ndlovu.

The bout was the first step in what Donaire hopes will be a unification march through the division. - Sapa-AFP