Nonito Donaire Drops Vasquez Jr & Wins Split Decision

Nonito Donaire Drops Vasquez Jr on way to split decision Victory – Nathan Coward reporting for

San Antonio, Texas, Saturday night saw the pound for pound rated Nonito Donaire win his third Major world title in as many weight classes, stepping up in weight to 122 pounds for the first time to take on former WBO Beltholder Wilfredo Vazquez Jr for the Vacant WBO title.

Donaire was clearly fired up from the pre-fight controversy and came out wanting to make a statement, the opening rounds were controlled by the Filipino flash, with Vasquez Jr struggling to deal with the speed and athletic co-ordination of his counterpart, Vazquez stayed quite reserved and reluctantly engaged.

A confident Donaire soon made his intentions known with a sweet lead left hook which sent Vasquez reeling into the corner, Donaire,smelling blood, jumped in and pinned Vazquez in the corner following up with combination, however Vasquez managed to survive and bought himself some time after a slip to the canvas.

As the rounds continued Vazquez began to adjust and grow in confidence, finally letting his hands go for more than one shot at a time, Donaire was still controlling the majority of the action, however the mid rounds the rounds werebecoming more competitive and it left Donaire looking frustrated as the power that has been so devastating in the lower divisions was failing to deter a hungry Vazquez, who after taking a hard shot would often smile or shake his head as if to show Donaire that his shots were not hurting him.

Round Nine saw Donaire send Vasquez to the canvas with a left uppercut followed by a hard left hook. Vasquez quickly rose with steady legs and survived the remained of the round.

The remainder of the fight was much like the mid rounds which saw both men engaging in competitive rounds, Vazquez landing at will with his right hand and Donaire outworking and landing the harder punches, and over all control of the fight.

After the bout Donaire looked in pain as his trainer,RobertGarcia,took off his glove to reveal a swollen left hand wrap that was soaked in his blood, he later indicated that the handcould have been damaged as early as the second round and completely went in the ninth after the Vazquez knockdown.

Judges, Levi Martinez and Don Trella had it 117-100 for Donaire, while Judge Ruben Garcia surprisingly had it 115-112 for Vazquez Jr. Giving Donaire the split decision Victory and the vacant WBO Belt.

Donaire stated that he has no immediate plans to move up in weight again, which opens up some interesting potential match ups with fighters such as Guillermo Rigondeaux, Toshiaki Nishioka,Jorge Arce and Takalani Ndlovu.

Nathan Coward