Nonito Donaire had the poor fortune to follow a fight of the year scrap, and further bad luck when Toshiaki Nishioka proved to be a hestitant foe, throwing just 22 punches a round. But Donaire opened up on his opponent, knocking him down in the sixth, and then for good in the ninth, to acheive a TKO victory in the main event at the Home Depot Center in Carson, CA on Saturday night, and on HBO.
The time of the finish was 1:54 of the ninth, for the WBO junior feather champion who once again found himself in again with a pugilist who mostly boxed with defense first in mind.
Donaire after said his left hand was hurting midway through the fight, and he needed to go to Plan B. He said guys don't like to engage him, because he can dissect you if you open up on him. Max Kellerman asked if a fight with Abner Mares could happen, or not, because his promoter Bob Arum doesn't get along with Mares' promoter, Golden Boy. He said if not, he might move up in weight. Guillermo Rigondeaux, he thinks, needs more seasoning, more buildup, to earn a shot.
Donaire (29-1; from Phillipines, living in CA; age 29) was 121.8 Friday while Nishi (age 36; from Japan; 39-4-3 ; undefeated for eight years; ex super bantam champ) was 121.8.
In the first, the righty Donaire looked to pump a lightning jab. Nishi kept his glove at his right ear to guard the hook. In the second, Nishi stayed cautious. Then he got working with the jab, but both men feinted and paused more than the crowd liked at time. They had been spoiled.
In the third, boos broke out once again, with a measured pace. Donaire bounced, feinted, and the Japanese man posed and waited for...I'm not sure what, in round four.
In the sixth, Nishi went down with a minute to go, off a lead hand left uppercut. And it woke him up, thankfully.
In the seventh, they bumped heads. The action didn't revert back to the last thriller round. In round eight, Nishi's right eye was puffy, but he could still see. He went down off a counter right off a lazy jab in the ninth, got up, ate one left uppercut and the bout was halted. Nishi's corner ended it.
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV