Saturday, February 4, 2012
Donaire beats Vazquez by split nod, first Bay Area fighter with four division titles
In his first fight at 122 pounds, Donaire (28-1, 18 KOs) weathered a mouse on his right eye and what could be a broken left hand to take control of the bout, scoring a knockdown in the ninth round via a left uppercut and subsequent left hook that sent Vazquez (21-2-1, 18 KOs) to the canvas.
While Vazquez would recover, he had no answer for Donaire both in the center of the ring as well as in the limited chances he got him on the ropes. Instead, the East Bay fighter picked him off repeatedly with counter left hooks, though his injury might have prevented him from finishing the fight in style.
Levi Martinez and Don Trella scored the bout 117-110 for Donaire, while Ruben Garcia had a terribly askew 115-112 for Vazquez.
According to Compubox, Donaire landed 231 of 556 punches (42%). From that total, he tallied 147 of 245 power shots (60%), and 84 of 311 jabs (27%). Vazquez landed 163 of 548 total shots (30%). From those blows, he scored on 56 of 163 power punches (34%), and 107 of 385 jabs (28%).
Donaire now adds the belt to his collection that includes the IBF 112-pound flyweight title, the WBA 115-pound junior bantamweight interim title, and the WBC and WBO 118-pound bantamweight titles.
As far as what's next, "The Filipino Flash" will look ahead to the summer, where he will likely face either WBC 122-pound champ Toshiaki Nishioka of Japan, Mexico's Jorge Arce, or the dark horse candidate, WBA boss Guillermo Rigondeaux of Cuba. A new stadium will open in the Mall of Asia in the Philippines' capital city of Manila, and Donaire has been discussed as a frontrunner to open the venue.
In the main event, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (45-0-1, 31 KOs) successfully defended his WBC middleweight belt with a unanimous decision over fellow Mexican Marco Antonio Rubio (53-6-1, 46 KOs).
Boxing correspondent Ryan Maquiñana is a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and Ring Magazine’s Ratings Advisory Panel. E-mail him at email@example.com, check out his blog at www.maqdown.com, or follow him on Twitter: @RMaq28.