Nonito Donaire had a lot more trouble than expected tonight in his rematch with Vic Darchinyan, and it turns out that the stoppage in the ninth round was entirely necessary. Donaire put Darchinyan down hard and then finished him off moments later after having a lot of issues in the first eight rounds, and in fact, the judges in Texas had Darchinyan up 78-74, 78-74, and 76-76, meaning Donaire definitely needed the stoppage, or at least a big barrage of knockdowns.
BLH had it 77-75 Darchinyan at the time of stoppage.
Donaire (32-2, 21 KO) was sluggish, didn't look in top shape, and looked to have some mental doubts about himself throughout the fight, and admitted as much after, saying that when Darchinyan (39-6-1, 28 KO) hit him in the cheek, he thought he'd suffered a broken bone, and questioned whether or not he should fight on. He did, and in the end, he got the win, but this fight left a lot of questions.
Is Donaire, 30, really as good as he was hyped? Probably not. But not many guys are as good as the hyped version of Nonito Donaire, either. This win came against a small, 37-year-old fighter who was set up to lose to him. This fight was designed as a bounce-back to give Donaire a spectacular KO. He got the big finish, and deserves real credit for finishing the way he did, because not all guys can actually finish once they get the window to do so. He did it. He read Darchinyan's body language and went for the jugular. It worked, and he won the fight clean.
But Darchinyan really should not have given Donaire the issues he did tonight, and Nonito's flaws were the same as they've always been. He couldn't lead the action, and with Darchinyan fighting smarter than he did six years ago, that made for a chess match type of fight, which favored Vic. Darchinyan seemed to hurt Donaire slightly a few times, but never had him in danger, either.
Donaire remains in love with his left hook, staying in a bad relationship that isn't abusive or anything, but seems to be simply beneath him, like a gal sticking around with a fella who's no damn good but he buys her some stuff sometimes. In the ninth round, the absentee lover that is the left hook reciprocated with an early Christmas present, something that Nonito really wanted. Because the hook knew that Donaire was down, really doubting the relationship, and thinking about ending it. The hook doesn't want that. The hook doesn't want to try, and the hook will never put a ring on it, but the hook likes the comfort and the familiarity and the place to go.
Yeah, man. That's my boxing recap.
After the fight, Donaire said he wants a rematch with Guillermo Rigondeaux, playfully telling Max Kellerman that he wanted "his boy."