Champion Nonito Donaire of the Philippines defended his world super bantamweight titles by stopping Toshiaki Nishioka in the ninth round on Saturday, handing the Japanese boxer his first defeat in eight years.
The 29-year-old Donaire knocked Nishioka down for the second time in the fight after 1 minute, 54 seconds of the ninth round. Nishioka got up but his corner stepped in to stop the fight.
With the stoppage Donaire (30-1, 19 KOs) retained his WBO and IBF super bantamweight titles and extended his own win streak to 29 contests.
“When you engage you open up,” Donaire said. “I can pick him apart and then the demolition man comes in to knock him out.”
The fight ended when Nishioka (39-5-3, 24 KOs) walked into a straight right hand from Donaire at the Home Depot Center Stadium in Los Angles. Nishioka also went down with a minute left in the sixth round after being hit with two successive left hands inside.
Donaire dominated the fight, keeping Nishioka at a distance with left jabs and right hands to the body.
“We wanted to use my jab and use my speed,” Donaire said. “I wanted to open him up by timing that jab and that’s exactly what happened for me to be able to land that straight punch.”
In February, Donaire captured the vacant WBO 122-pound (55kg) title, winning a gritty split-decision over former world champion Wilfredo Vazquez. Five months later, he added the IBF title with a unanimous decision over Jeffrey Mathebula.
Donaire had won his previous three fights on points, so was pleased to stop his opponent.
“I got the guy that I thought was best in the division. Everybody is free fall. Let’s go,” Donaire said.
Nishioka had been unbeaten for 16 contests going into the fight and the veteran 36-year-old from Tokyo had successfully defended the WBC title seven times between 2009 and last year. Nishioka had not lost by knockout since the second fight of his career in 1995 and had not lost any contest since Thai star Veeraphol Sahaprom beat him in 2004.
PRICE v HARRISON
AFP, LIVERPOOL, England
Former Olympic champion Audley Harrison’s latest bid for a meaningful performance in the heavyweight ring ended in a humiliating 82-second flattening on Saturday.
Harrison, now 40, was knocked out by David Price in the first round as the winner retained his British and Commonwealth titles.
It was Sydney Olympic gold medallist Harrison’s sixth professional loss, coming two years after he was knocked out in the second round in Manchester by David Haye.