CARSON, Calif. -- Nonito "The Filipino Flash" Donaire emerged victorious Saturday October 13 over Japanese boxer Toshiaki Nishioka at the Home Depot Center following two knockdowns in the sixth and ninth rounds before a crowd of about 7,500.
Donaire threw a straight right-hand jab to Nishoka's chin and followed it up with a left uppercut that sent the Japanese chap to the canvas with 1:54 seconds remaining on the ninth round. Nishioka's corner threw in the towel to stop the fight before Donaire could deliver one more punch. Donaire retained the World Boxing Organization (WBO) and International Boxing Federation (IBF) super bantamweight titles.
He also earned Nishioka's World Boxing Council (WBC) diamond belt and the vacant RING super bantamweight title. He has now won 29 straight fights to improve his record to 30 wins against one loss, with 18 wins by knockout. Nishioka lost for only the fifth time in his career and for the first time since 2004.
Donaire won his first two fights in the super bantamweight division via decision. First, he defeated Wilfredo Vazquez in February 2012 via split decision to win the WBO belt. He added the IBF belt with a unanimous decision victory over Jeffrey Mathebula in July.
"Nishioka was a great fighter and we were wary, but if he made the mistake, we could get him -- and we did," said Donaire. "This is my biggest win. I've never beaten anyone like this."
The match started off slowly in a lackluster fashion through the first five rounds as both fighters were sizing each other up which drew boos and heckling from the crowd. Although Donaire was throwing punches to test how Nishioka would respond, Nishioka was not a willing partner. He kept his hands up, cautiously parrying Donaire's offense. But even with Nihioka's defense, Donaire managed to land jabs at his opponent.
But shortly after the 6th round began, Donaire picked up his opponent's mistake and threw a hard left punch that shocked Nishioka and sent down in the middle of the ring. But Nishioka beat the 10-count and engaged Donaire into a much spirited stance as if he was awaken by an ongoing dull bout.
In the succeding rounds, the fight ensued with sporadic exchanges of punches from both fighters enroute to the decisive ninth round when Donaire found an opening into Nishioka's defense and pummeled Nishioka for the final knockdown.
"We knew we could not stop the fight with one punch. Nishioka is a great fighter," Donaire said after the bout.
Donaire landed nearly 134 punches of 485 thrown compared to Nishioka (39-5-3, 24 KOs) who threw 199 punches but only 49 connected. He was enjoying a 16-fight winning streak going into the fight.
Donaire had an open cut on his left knuckle after the fight and said he probably would not fight again this year. ifif Donaire's hand has healed, Top Rank Promoter Bob Arum said he would try to arrange a fight with Mexican Jorge Arce in Mexico City before the year ends.
Meanwhile, Malacañang congratulated Donaire through Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte.
Speaking during a regular press briefing, she said Donaire's win solidified the Filipinos' image as world-class boxers who continue to bring fame and honor Filipinos.
Donaire, 29, was born in the Philippines but splits his time between San Leandro, California and Las Vegas, Nevada.