Sunday, February 5th 2012

Round Up: Donaire Wins by Split Decision

February 4, 2012 – Alamodome, San Antonio, Texas


“Welcome to the Future” – Co-Main Event

Fight: Nonito Donaire Jr. Donaire, 27-1, 18 KOs, Philippines vs. Wilfredo Vazquez Jr., 21-1-1, 18 KOs, Bayamon, Puerto Rico

Division: 12 Rds., WBO Jr. Featherweight Championship

Result: Donaire Wins by Split Decision

Detail: Vazquez came into this fight an underdog. Indeed, many thought Donaire, one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world, would put the son and namesake of the great Puerto Rican champ away in emphatic fashion. It didn’t happen. Vazquez may have started off tentatively, but he eventually found his rhythm with a near-unstoppable jab functioning as the bass-line to his fight song–the support around which his attack was built. (He threw 385 jabs to Donaire’s 311, according to CompuBox.) Donaire, meanwhile, spent some time showing off for the crowd. He dropped his hands and did squats, hopped around like a spider, and generally taunted Vazquez, as if to say, “You can’t hurt me.” And though Vazquez gave Donaire a big mouse under his right eye, he never really damaged the “Filipino Flash.” Donaire, however, not only managed to swell up Vazquez’s right eye; he also dropped the Puerto Rican with a left uppercut in the ninth–this despite the fact that he broke his left hand in the fourth round. A true warrior, Vazquez soldiered on. And while he impressed one judge with his performance, the other two had Donaire–who landed 147 power punches to Vazquez’s 56–the clear victor. A great fight.

One judge scored it 115-112 for Vazquez, the other two scored it 117-110 for Donaire.