MANILA, Philippines – Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire solidified his status as one of the top boxers in the super bantamweight division after beating Japanese boxer Toshiaki Nishioka in their title unification bout Saturday at the Home Depot Center in California (Sunday in Manila).
Donaire outclassed Nishioka with superior speed and timing and negated the Japanese’s attacks with his counter-punching.
The bout started off slowly as both fighters measured each other up. Though Donaire started attacking in the second round, it seemed that Nishioka was not a willing partner as the Japanese covered up for much of the bout.
But even with Nishioka keeping his right hand up, Donaire was able to land his left hand with regularity. In the sixth round, Donaire stunned Nishioka with a left hand to the body and then another left uppercut, sending the Japanese to the canvas.
The knockdown seemed to have woken up Nishioka, however, as he went toe-to-toe with Donaire for the rest of round six.
But in the seventh and eighth rounds, it was back to the tactical chess match with Nishioka fighting defensively even as Donaire tried to set up his attacks with his jabs.
In the ninth round, Nishioka was able to get Donaire to the ropes and started unloading, but “The Filipino Flash” countered with a perfectly placed right straight that knocked Nishioka down anew.
Although he was able to beat the 10-count, the referee stopped the fight moments later as Donaire swarmed in for the kill.
The official time of stoppage was 1:54 of the ninth round.