Donaire-Juarez turn in "Fight Of The Year" candidate
DONAIRE PARTICIPATES IN A FOTY CANDIDATE
By: Hector Franco
Nonito Donaire regained a world title by winning a unanimous decision over Cesar Juarez on the undercard of the Verdejo-Dos Santos main event. Donaire is now the WBO world champion in the super bantamweight division. The bout unexpectedly was one of the better fights of the year.
Donaire started off the bout looking very sharp. He countered Juarez with beautiful right hands and left hooks to the body. Donaire used movement to offset Juarez and keep him from throwing punches in bunches.
In the fourth round Donaire was able to score two knockdowns on Juarez. The first knockdown came from a right hand that could have been ruled a push down as both men collided after the punch. The next knockdown left no question as Donaire landed a beautiful left hook counter to drop Juarez on the seat of his pants.
Donaire was still in control of the bout, but after six rounds there was a momentum shift in the bout. While Donaire was landing the cleaner counter punches they were now coming too few and far between. Juarez kept coming forward, putting the pressure on Donaire. Juarez seemed to be able to take Donaire’s punches much better in the second half of the fight. Donaire was staying on the ropes for longer periods of time and letting Juarez unload punches on him without throwing much back in return. These punches weren’t all landing cleanly, but they were taking their toll on Donaire. Donaire in the sixth round used his movement to try and offset Juarez, however in this round he slipped at the end of the round and seemed to hurt his knee.
By the tenth round, Donaire seemed tired and questioning himself. Juarez was able to back Donaire against the ropes and land a left hook that knocked Donaire down.
Donaire was backed into his corner when the punch landed and it looked like his leg came out from under him. The knockdown would not have occurred without the punch landing so Donaire was lucky to not have it count against him.
In the last round both men traded punches throughout the round. Juarez had Donaire against the ropes as he threw a barrage of punches at Donaire. Donaire came back and landed some great left hooks and uppercuts. Both traded punches until the end of the round.
Donaire was given the unanimous decision by scorecards of 116-110 twice and 117-109. The two knockdowns that Donaire scored in the fourth round were too much of a deficit for Juarez to climb back form.
Both men showed tremendous heart in a bout that no one expected to be a great fight. This was expected to be a showcase for Donaire and turned out to be a showcase of two fighters toughness. Donaire in the first half of the bout showed flashes of his old form with great counter punching and movement. A rematch between both men may be possible as Donaire expressed after the bout in an interview with Top Rank’s Crystina Poncher that “This was the toughest fight of his career”.
The truTV series by Top Rank continues to deliver on action. Hopefully Top Rank will have more high-quality shows next year to follow up on the excellent cards they put together in 2015.