source: Joaquin Henson | The Philippine Star
MANILA, Philippines - Nonito Donaire Jr. isn’t satisfied with Wilfredo Vazquez Jr.’s personal apology after the Filipino Flash outpointed the Puerto Rican to capture the vacant WBO superbantamweight champion at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas, last Saturday night. He wants a public apology from Vazquez for disrespecting the Philippines, the Filipino people and his wife Rachel.
“Yeah, he told me he’s sorry, that it was just part of business to hype our fight,” said Donaire in an overseas phone call yesterday. “But I’m not buying it. I don’t think he’s sincere. He showed disrespect to our country, our people and my wife. He should make a public apology, that’s what I want. Anyway, I beat him up.”
Vazquez and his wife went overboard in insulting the Philippines, Filipino fans and the Donaires on Twitter leading up to the fight. Donaire never stooped down to engage the Vazquezes in trash talk. Instead, he let his fists do the talking. Donaire floored Vazquez in the ninth round enroute to scoring a 12-round split decision. Two judges, Levi Martinez of New Mexico and Don Trella of Connecticut, saw it 117-110, both for Donaire. Dr. Ruben Garcia scored it 115-112 for Vazquez.
“That was crazy,” said Donaire, referring to Garcia’s scorecard that awarded eight rounds to Vazquez. “I don’t know what that guy was smoking. It was ridiculous. The whole world knows what happened that night. I thought it was clear I dominated the fight. I don’t know what fight that judge was scoring but it wasn’t mine.”
Donaire said he probably hurt his left hand in the third round when he repeatedly whacked Vazquez’s head. “It was anywhere between the second and fourth because I started to feel the pain in the fifth,” he said. “I didn’t want Vazquez to know my hand was bad so I tricked him into thinking I was fine. I used my counter right a lot and switched to southpaw. I did a few things to keep him off-balance. I didn’t want to give an indication that I was hurt. I wanted him to think I was a threat from start to finish, that nothing was wrong.”
Donaire admitted he slowed down a bit when the pain began to throb. “Was Vazquez the toughest guy I’ve ever fought?” he went on. “I don’t think so. I would’ve knocked him out early if I didn’t hurt my hand. I dominated the first three rounds and that would’ve been the pattern the rest of the way. Vazquez wouldn’t have lasted if I kept that pace. I had to adjust in the middle rounds because of the pain.”
Although he was in pain, Donaire used the left hand to knock Vazquez down in the ninth. A left uppercut staggered the Puerto Rican before a left hook to the jaw dropped him. However, Donaire didn’t go for a knockout and held back because of the pain. Vazquez survived the assault and finished the fight on his feet.
Donaire’s debut in the 122-pound division was a huge success under the circumstances. “I felt comfortable at my new weight,” he said. “I felt great except for the injury in my left hand. I was able to bring up my power to the superbantamweight division. Remember I put Vazquez down even with a bad hand. But I realize I’m small for this division. I was smaller than Vazquez. I think I’ve got to put on a little more bulk as I’ll be going up against guys even bigger than Vazquez. I’m still the smaller guy out there.”
Donaire said he’ll likely campaign in the superbantamweight class a little longer or at least until he unifies the championship.
“The first thing is to heal up,” he said. “We want to determine the extent of my injury although I don’t think it’s major. (Top Rank chairman) Bob (Arum) was impressed and happy with my performance. He wants me to see the best hand specialist in Las Vegas. Depending on the recovery period, I hope to be back in Manila before the end of the month. I might undergo some rehab in the US before coming home. I’ve gone to a hand specialist in the Bay Area before but whom I see will depend on what needs to be done to get my left hand back in shape.”
Donaire said he doesn’t expect the injury to be serious enough as to delay the schedule of his next fight, possibly against former WBO superbantamweight champion Jorge Arce of Mexico, in May.
“My left hand could be broken in two places but nothing’s sure,” he said. “I think there’s a fracture although it’s only minor. I’m looking forward to three more fights this year. It doesn’t matter whom I fight next. I think Bob has already talked to possible opponents. I’m not choosy. I’ll fight whomever my manager (Cameron Dunkin) and Bob put in front of me.”