Donaire’s greatest hits
HBO has released a video showing the greatest hits of RING and WBO junior featherweight champion Nonito Donaire in advance of his April 13 fight against WBA counterpart Guillermo Rigondeaux at New York’s Radio City Music Hall.
Donaire (31-1, 20 knockouts) is coming off December’s sensational third-round knockout of Mexican former four-division titleholder Jorge Arce, which resurrected the hopes of his Filipino countrymen as it came a week after national hero Manny Pacquiao was left lying face-first and motionless in a sixth-round knockout loss to Juan Manuel Marquez.
Arce had taken an unbeaten streak of 9-0-1 that included six knockouts into the matchup with Donaire, a run that included a come-from-behind 12th-round stoppage of ex-beltholder Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. in May of last year.
Donaire made his 122-pound debut against Vazquez in February of 2012, and followed that up with a unanimous decision over South Africa’s Jeffrey Mathebula for the IBF title in July.
Donaire then stopped Toshiaki Nishioka in nine rounds, handing the legendary Japanese fighter his first loss since March of 2004 — a span of eight years and seven months.
Donaire is likely to be involved in his most difficult career bout against Rigondeaux (11-0, 8 KOs), a two-time Olympic gold medalist for Cuba.
Donaire was known for his devastating power as a 118-pounder, highlighted by a second-round knockout that dethroned Fernando Montiel as WBO and WBC titleholder in February of 2011.
The win over Montiel was the second for Donaire as a bantamweight, following a fourth-round knockout of Volodymyr Sydorenko in December of 2010. Sydorenko’s nose was broken during a bout in which he was dropped three times.
But Donaire was frustrated by a defensive-minded Omar Narvaez in his final bout as a 118-pounder, even as he easily won a unanimous decision over the previously unbeaten WBO junior bantamweight beltholder in October of 2011.
The power appeared to have returned for Donaire against Nishioka, when he scored two knockdowns on his way to the eventual knockout, and again when he nailed Arce with a big left hook to end the fight.
Photo by Chris Farina, Top Rank
Photo by Naoki Fukuda
Lem Satterfield can be reached at [email protected]