San Leandro-based Filipino fighter Nonito Donaire overcome a battered left hand to secure a split decision Saturday evening over Wilfredo Vazquez, Jr. Donaire claimed a pair of 117-110 decisions, while losing a baffling 115-112 decision on a third scorecard as he won his debut fight in the junior featherweight ranks. The fight was quite close in the middle rounds, but Donaire seemed to put it away late after dropping Vazquez for an eight-count in the ninth round. I suppose a questionable scorecard should not be surprising in boxing.
I had the fight scored 117-110 for Donaire, in spite of the fact that Donaire spent much of the fight head-hunting for a quick knockout. He rarely went for body shots and instead continually lined up head shots. By the last round it become apparent why he was operating in that manner. The broadcast mentioned that they had learned Donaire had injured one of his hands earlier in the fight. After the fight ended and Donaire removed his gloves, there was quite a bit of blood on his left hand. With that in mind, it made a lot more sense that he would not be prepared to take his time with a bunch of body shots.
The fight started off fairly slowly with the first few rounds going to Donaire as he was simply the more active fighter. However, once we reached the fourth round, Vazquez found his way as he began to consistently land a jab. He become more active and was starting to land the jab at will. He slowly began to accumulate rounds and was looking right back in the fight heading into the ninth round.
However, early in the ninth, Donaire caught him flush with a right and then a left uppercut, before putting him down with a left hook. Vazquez took the standing eight-count, but in spite of what one judge scored it, that effectively marked the end of the fight. Vazquez claimed the final round, but the 10-8 round pushed this fight a little too far out of reach. He stunned Donaire a couple times with some big shots, but was never able to take advantage.