Blogs & Opinion

Stepping up

Nonito Donaire was made to work against Wilfredo Vazquez Jr

Wayne McCullough Posted 6th February 2012 view comments

Puerto Rican Wilfredo "Papito" Vazquez Jr was fighting for the second time since he lost his WBO super bantamweight belt to Mexico's Jorge Arce in May 2011.

Nonito "The Filipino Flash" Donaire, two weight division champion, was fighting for the first time in this new weight class. He had just moved up to bantamweight last February to dethrone champion Fernando Montiel in spectacular knockout fashion. Now after just one defence he was up another weight.

Nonito Donaire won on a split decision against Wilfredo Vazquez Jr

Nonito Donaire won on a split decision against Wilfredo Vazquez Jr

Vazquez Jr had lost only once in 23 fights while Donaire's only defeat out of 28 fights was to unknown Rosendo Sanchez in his second professional bout back in 2001.

Both guys are punchers, each with 18 KO's on their records. This fight was for the vacant WBO super bantamweight title since Arce had vacated that belt and was now holding the WBO title.

Prior to this fight I thought Donaire would have made short work of Vazquez Jr and ended the fight early. But it went the full 12 rounds and ended in a split decision.

The early rounds probably belonged to Donaire as he was the busier fighter, putting combinations together but Vazquez Jr was always in the fight. It seemed as though the son of three division champion Wilfredo Vazquez, "Papito", was just not putting enough punches together to win many rounds. Although Donaire looked like he had hurt his left hand in the fight he still had enough power.


Donaire, at times, was more content to head hunt with his punches instead of investing quality shots to his opponent's body early in the fight. In the third round it looked as though Donaire had hurt Vazquez Jr but he rode the storm and came straight back.

In the middle rounds Vazquez Jr got his left jabs working and may have been stealing the rounds. By the last four the fight got a lot closer on my card. The ninth was a turning point for Donaire as he landed a left uppercut to his opponent's chin followed by another left, putting the Puerto Rican down. He got up pretty quickly and didn't look too badly hurt. Donaire had about 30 seconds left in the round to try for the finish but he didn't go for it.

There were no more knockdowns in the final three and Donaire, who looked like he had won convincingly, was not awarded the fight the way he expected. It was declared a split decision for Donaire with two of the judges giving it to him easily on scores of 117-110 but the other gave it to Vazquez Jr 115-112 which was ridiculous. Rounds were close but Donaire won maybe by three points and even got a 10-8 round in the ninth for the knockdown.

Vazquez Jr will be back but Donaire will now probably face Arce who always comes to fight and entertains the fans. Donaire did not look good here even though he may be one of the top five pound-for-pound fighters in the world.

back to top

Other Boxing Experts:

Latest Posts in Boxing:

Latest News RSS feeds

Kessler calls time on career

Five-time super middleweight champion Mikkel Kessler has confirmed his retirement from boxing.

Nelson: Froch to follow Kessler?

Mikkel Kessler has retired so will his great rival Carl Froch follow suit? Johnny Nelson thinks so...

Mitchell outclasses Estrada

Kevin Mitchell produced a punch-perfect performance to stop Daniel Estrada and earn another world title shot.

Mitchell 'feels' title glory

Kevin Mitchell believes he will finally become a world champion after stopping Daniel Estrada on Saturday.

Hibbert stops Goodjohn

John Wayne Hibbert and John Ryder earned stoppage wins over Tyler Goodjohn and Billi Godoy on the O2 undercard.


Miss the Manny Special?

Miss the Manny Special?

You can still watch the exclusive Manny Pacquiao Ringside Special on Sky Go, by clicking here...

Ringside Toe 2 Toe: Manny Pacquiao, Amir Khan, Anthony Joshua and Kell Brook are all on

Ringside Toe 2 Toe: Manny Pacquiao, Amir Khan, Anthony Joshua and Kell Brook are all on

Welcome to the Ringside Toe 2 Toe podcast, an online offering from bringing you the latest news and views from the world of boxing.