Nonito Donaire didn’t get the challenge that he was looking for from his foe but he managed to score an impressive ninth-round knockout victory over Toshiaki Nishioka on Sunday at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California.
After being knocked down, the 36-year-old Japanese became more aggressive but it worked against his favor as Donaire utilized his hand speed and superb game plan. Donaire continued to dominate until finally knocking out Nishioka in the ninth round with a stunning left straight.
“Nishioka was a great fighter and we were wary, but if he made the mistake, we could get him — and we did,” said Donaire, who sustained a cut on his left knuckle early in the fight. “My left hand was hurt in the middle of the fight and I needed a different strategy, and I got him with the right. This is my biggest win. I’ve never beaten anyone like this. He has a lot of weapons.”
With the win, the 29-year-old native of General Santos City retained his World Boxing Association super bantamweight title, while also getting the World Boxing Council Diamond Belt. Donaire’s International Boxing Federation was not at stake on Sunday after IBF reportedly asked for a huge sanction fee.
Nishioka, who absorbed his first defeat in his last 17 matches over the span of eight and a half years, admitted that he was simply outclassed by a much better fighter.
“The speed was a big difference,” Nishioka said. “He’s one of the fastest fighters I have ever faced. And Donaire has a very powerful left hand. He was strong early in the fight.”
Donaire is looking to return to the ring before the end of the year.
[Image Source: Yahoo! Sports]