By Marc Livitz reporting from ringside. Nonito Donaire denied Vic Darchinyan the chance to avenge a 2007 knockout loss and he did so this evening by way of a ninth round TKO win. His Armenian opponent had long been itching for a second chance at Donaire and just as in their first bout, the scorecards were very close when the bout was halted.
Neither fighter was particularly active in the first minute of round one. Donaire connected with a right hook to the head with about a minute to spare. Each man held a wide stance and the chess play of sorts continued into round two, yet Nonito was beginning to find more openings. He staggered Darchinyan with a right and Vic answered back with a hard left of his own. In the third, Donaire was using his left jab to greater effect. Vic landed another left across the face later in the round.
Darchinyan connected with a left hook which sent Nonito’s head temporarily sideways to begin round four. This happened once again towards the end of the stanza, yet Donaire let all in attendance know that he could take the best Vic had to offer as he playfully held onto the top rope as if he needed it in order to remain vertical. The two men got into a slugging match up until the bell and continued to fire for a few seconds after it rang.
There was not much action though the opening two minutes of the fifth. The same could almost be said for the closing minute until Darchiniyan connected with an overhand left and sent Donaire into a corner, after which he fired off right/left head shots until the bell sounded. Nonito looked to get back into the fight in round six. He exchanged punches with Vic "The Raging Bull" and scored with a few right handed shots.
The bout had four rounds to go and it appeared to be a 50/50 split with Donaire taking the first half and Darchinyan the second. The shining spot in the seventh may have been the tackle put upon Nonito when referee Laurence Cole asked the two combatants to break from a clinch. Donaire’s right cross found a home at times in the eighth round.
He connected with a strong left hook about a minute into the ninth and he landed a left hook which sent Vic to the canvas and almost through the ropes. It was hunting season after that. Although Darchinyan beat the count, he was visibly hurt and Nonito thereby went into full attack mode.
Once he got Vic into his own corner, he first tagged him with a straight right and then cocked and loaded for three straight lefts. Referee Laurence Cole had seen enough at this junction and he waved the bout to a close at the 2:06 mark of round nine. Nonito "Filipino Flash" Donaire improves to (32-2, 21 KO’s) and now holds two knockout victories over Vic Darchinyan, whose record is now (39-6-1, 28 KO’s). Donaire was actually losing on the scorecards when the stoppage occurred. He made it clear who he now wants to fight with just one word: Rigondeaux.
"He caught me with a few shots and that’s just the way it goes. I think that I was winning the fight up to that point and I am disappointed", said the defeated Darchinyan after the bout.