Nonito Donaire will now look forward to super fights against the likes of Abner Mares, Anselmo Moreno or even stable mate Guillermo Rigondeaux after stopping Toshiaki Nishioka of Japan in 9 rounds to regain his WBO 122lb title at the Home Depot Centre, Carson California. Shortly before the fight Donaire gave up his IBF title saving himself a small fortune in sanction fees. The reason being that the IBF were ordering a mandatory defence for the winner of last nights fight. Something that certainly doesn’t fit into Donaire’s or even Bob Arum’s plans.
Former champion Nishioka had held the WBC strap for 3 years and at 36 nobody could blame him going after a big money fight against one of boxing’s best fighters. Nishioka was also unbeaten in 8 years and surely he fancied his chances but that changed when he was put on the seat of his pants by a Donaire left uppercut. Nishioka would fight mostly from a defensive stance, something that wasnt expected. At the start of the year Donaire was faced with a similar problem as Argentine Omar Narvaez travelled to New York and put up a negative defensive performance that saw him lose virtually every round. He did survive the 12 rounds though. Donaire’s task was now to see if he had improved. He had to work out a way to stop a guy that surprisingly hadn’t really came to fight.
The opening rounds were tepid affairs. Donaire was doing all the work as Nishioka flicked out the odd right jab from his Southpaw stance. In the 3rd round the champion opened with 2-3 blistering combination pushing the Japanese fighter back. The response? Not much. Donaire was having more and more success with his lead right, a primary weapon against a southpaw. The 4th and 5th followed the same suit, Donaire trying to force a fight, Nishioka with his hands held high trying the odd jab followed by wide pot shots. The fans who earlier had been treated to a “Fight Of The Year” candidate between Brandon Rios and Mike Alvardo began to boo as early as the first round.
In the 6th round Nishioka began to be more adventurous throwing more punches but for his troubles he landed himself on the canvas after being caught by a big left uppercut. Nishioka took the 8 count then preceded to fight a better fight. He was woken up. The 7th was close and could have went either way. Donaire then lost on my card anyway his first round of the fight. The 8th was a good round for Nishioka especially the last 45 seconds where he traded with his bigger champion landing the better shots, mostly the left hook inside. It was only a temporary success as Nishioka buoyed by his bravery in the previous round went after Donaire…”BIG MISTAKE”. Donaire was taking fire on the ropes when he saw his opportunity, “BANG” a huge right hand floored the Japanese champion for the 2nd time. This time he was clearly hurt. Referee Raul Caiz Sr took a close look before allowing Nishioka to continue. Nishioka then began shipping huge punches which made Nishioka corner man signal he wanted the fight ended. Nishioka wanted to continue but Caiz Sr jumped in between the fighters signalling the demands for the challengers corner.
Donaire will now move to much bigger things now. A fight with Jorge Acre in Mexico City was mentioned by Bob Arum at the post fight press conference conference although its unsure if that fight will happen as Donaire was complaining of another hand injury.
Below is my scorecard.
Round 1… 10-9 Donaire
Round 2… 10-9 Donaire
Round 3… 10-9 Donaire
Round 4… 10-9 Donaire
Round 5… 10-9 DonaiDonaire
Round 6… 10-9 Donaire
Round 7… 10-9 Donaire
Round 8… 9-10 Nishioka
TOTAL: 79-72 Donaire at the time of stoppage
Judges Scores : Ralph McNight 79-72 Donaire
Carlos Ortiz Jnr 79-72 Donaire
Fritz Werner 80-71 Donaire
NONITO DONAIRWE WINS BY 9TH ROUND KO