Donaire’s left hook saves him from defeat

Carlos Cinco
Donaire defeats Darchinyan via TKO in the 9th round

REMATCH. Nonito Donaire Jr steps back into the ring against a familiar opponent - Vic Darchinyan. File photo by AFP

SINGAPORE (UPDATED) – When Nonito Donaire first met Vic Darchinyan in 2007, it was the Filipino Flash’s left hook that introduced itself to the Raging Bull’s face. Darchinyan stumbled face down using every bit of willpower he possessed to get back up on his feet as Donaire put the finishing touches on a masterful performance.

Their second fight didn’t quite go the same way, but it was close enough.

Donaire and Darchinyan spent eight rounds carefully picking their shots as the action was few and far between.

Donaire could not home in his patented left hook so when that wasn’t available, he went to the right hand. In the 2nd round, Donaire staggered Darchinyan but the Armenian-born Australian took it well and recovered, returning fire to Donaire. From then on, it was mostly Darchinyan getting the better of the exchanges as Donaire opted to try to time him with a haymaker.

As the fight went on, Darchinyan continued to win rounds with accurate power punching. Donaire was having difficulty finding Darchinyan due to his awkward style, and as a result, did much too little to score the points he needed to remain competitive.

But Boxing, as they say, is the theatre of the unexpected.

Donaire tried desperately to land that signature left hook of his all night and in the 9th round, he finally did.

Darchinyan, much like in their first fight, lunged in carelessly as Donaire clipped him with a flash left hook right on the chin. Darchinyan dropped to the canvas face first and even fell through the ropes. Once again, he had to muster all of his strength to make it back up to his feet but once standing was on shaky legs.

With Darchinyan’s eyes glassy and his defenses down, Donaire loaded up on power shots with murderous intent as he finished off Darchinyan. Referee Laurence Cole stepped in to stop the contest at the 2:06 mark and gave Donaire the come-from-behind knockout win over an old rival.

Two judges had it 78-74 for Darchinyan, and one had it at 76 points apiece as Darchinyan was on his way to a points victory after eight rounds. However, Donaire’s power again proved to be the equalizer as he laid to waste a tough Vic Darchinyan who was surely disappointed with the outcome.

It wasn’t a particularly good performance by Donaire, a boxer-puncher who tried too much to be a boxer in this fight when all he had to do to win was be a fighter. Luckily for him, he chose to put the hurt on in the nick of time as once again, his left hook proved to be the saving grace.

After the fight, Donaire expressed intent to face Guillermo Rigondeaux, the Cuban Olympic amateur standout who took Donaire’s titles earlier this year, in a rematch. Donaire was thoroughly out-boxed in their first fight, so he has a tough task ahead of him if the fight gets made. –

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