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On this day: Nonito Donaire halts Toshiaki Nishioka, wins Ring 122-pound championship

Nonito Donaire (left) sticks Toshiaki Nishioka with a jab in October 2012.
13
Oct

It was “The Filipino Flash” at his very best.

On October 13, 2012, Nonito Donaire successfully defended the WBO junior featherweight title, and claimed the vacant Ring championship, by scoring a ninth-round stoppage over Toshiaki Nishioka at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California. The official time was 1:54.

Donaire was too good at everything for the southpaw challenger from Japan. His judgement of distance was perfect; the hand speed blurring; and that signature left hand found the target with ominous regularity. A Donaire body shot set up a left uppercut knockdown in the sixth and the bout had descended into target practice.

In the ninth, a perfect right hand counter shot dropped Nishioka on his backside and the challenger was wobbly when he found his feet. Predictably, the first solid shot of Donaire’s follow up assault convinced referee Raul Caiz Sr. to stop the bout.



It’s a tribute to Donaire’s exceptional form that he dealt with this job so easily. Nishioka was highly touted and entered the bout as The Ring’s No. 2 rated junior featherweight.

“I had a lot of respect for Nishioka,” Donaire told The Ring years later. “He was a great fighter, and he had a lot of power in his hands. I trained really hard for that fight and was really pleased with my preparation. I thought he was the best in the division, so I trained as hard as I possibly could. I was also looking to leave the sport around that time. I’d had an easy night against Jeffrey Mathebula, but going to the gym was becoming a chore for me. It was actually the Nishioka fight that got me back up, because I had to really focus for the opponent. I studied him, and everything in the game plan worked. They were expecting the hooks, but it was the straight right hands that really opened him up – and the uppercuts.”

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