Donaire Wins WBC Featherweight title
|Posted by Manila Mail under Articles/Stories|
SAN ANTONIO, Texas – Filipino American Nonito “The Flash” Donaire knocked down Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. once and out pointed the Puerto Rican to win a split decision and the vacant World Boxing Council junior-featherweight title on Feb. 4 at the Alamodome here.
That the fight was a split decision puzzled many of those who were present and for pay-for-view viewers. Donaire won 117-110 on the scorecards of two of the judges, Levi Martinez and Don Trella, but judge Ruben Garcia gave the fight to Vazquez 115-112.
Donaire greatly dominated Vazquez, landing 68 more punches, and landed at a 42-percent connect rate. Donaire also landed 91 more power punches than Vazquez, who is trained by his father, Wilfredo Vazquez, one of Puerto Rico’s finest fighters.
In the third round, Donaire almost put Vazquez away when he pinned him in the corner and threw a flurry of punches that seemed to daze Vazquez a bit.
In the ninth round, Donaire connected on a nice combination to put Vazquez on his butt. It was the only knockdown of the fight.
Donaire and Vazquez came in with some bad blood between them, after shoving and knocking each other’s hats off during the final press conference on Feb. 2, with Donaire saying Vazquez disrespected him. In addition, their wives had waged a war of words on Twitter leading up to the fight.
After the fight, however, Vazquez (21-2-1, 18 knockouts) and Donaire hugged and seemed to work out their hard feelings. Asked about his hand injury, Donaire (28-1, 18 KOs) said he wasn’t sure if it was broken but said he hurt it between the second and fourth rounds. “I was prepared for anything, but it was early on that I hurt it.”
“There’s something wrong with [the hand],” Donaire said. “I don’t know if it’s broken, but it hurts bad, that’s for sure.”
Donaire was fighting for the first time at 122 pounds, after spending his career at 118 or below. They fought for the vacant belt that Vazquez had lost to Jorge Arce last May.