Sunday, February 5, 2012

Donaire's left hand, 'showboating', and that bogus scorecard

source: Dennis 'dSource' Guillermo |

Nonito "The Filipino Flash" Donaire, Jr. captured the WBO super bantamweight strap after besting Wilfredo Vazquez, Jr. Saturday night at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas.

Donaire handed a game Vaquez the first knockdown of his career after getting dropped in the 10th round by an uppercut followed by a left hook (Donaire's money punch), en route to a unanimous, correction, split decision victory. More on that later.

After the fight, Donaire took off his gloves and revealed his bloody left knuckle, which at the time he said he messed up around the first few rounds of the fight.

This is nothing new, and is definitely a concern moving forward.

Having been followed much of Donaire's career, it's a regular occurence that the hard punching fighter messes up his left fist after a fight.

Donaire generates so much force and impact with that left hand for a guy his size that HBO commentators Larry Merchant and Emanuel Sterward liken it to a heavyweight puncher. It's Donaire's uncanny technique that allow him to knock out just about anyone with that left hook. Unfortunately, it has also done a number on his left fist.

It's not by luck sturdy fighters like Darchinyan, Montiel and Sidorenko, who have never been knocked out prior to facing Donaire, succumbed to the impact of that lethal punch.

But bionic as his left hook may seem, Donaire, like the rest of us, has but mortal fists, bones, and limbs. It's a dilemma many other great fighters before him like Floyd Mayweather, Jr. and Oscar Dela Hoya have had to endure.

If Donaire is to continue to move up in weight and hope to be successful against bigger guys who are more capable of absorbing his power, he really needs to look closer at his hand issue and assess it further.

His promoter Bob Arum has ordered the best hand doctor to look into the matter, while other practices need to be examined as well, such as the way his hands are wrapped (main reason why Mayweather only lets Rafael Garcia wrap his hands), down to the type of gloves he wears.


There were some who expressed their dismay over Donaire's "showboating" during the fight. Donaire was dancing, swaying ala Roy Jones, Jr., and at one point put his hands on his knees in a motion that made HBO commentator Larry Merchant want to "hand him some toliet paper".

What may be showboating to the layman on the surface, wasn't at all how it seemed to this scribe. Donaire wanted to go for the sensational KO, and had a purpose with his antics. He was trying to open up Vazquez and lure him to throw more punches as a way to set him up for his counter.

Vazquez fought the most tight and defensive fight of his career, indication of his gameplan and respect for Donaire's power. Perhaps Donaire should have just boxed and threw more jabs, but to say he was merely "showboating" without deeper purpose, suggests a lack of understanding of Donaire's fighting style and boxing as a whole. Case in point: When Roy Jones, Jr. knocked out Glen Kelly with a right counter hook after putting his hands behind the back. Donaire also landed the the knockdown over Vazquez after allowing him to gain more confidence in throwing more punches in the 9th round.

It's a "catch-22". If the tactic works, it'll be in the highlight reels forever and fans will jump in joy. If it doesn't, a fighter risks looking like he is merely showboating and eat a lot of punches he otherwise wouldn't fighting the usual manner. But as they say, no risk, no reward. Donaire could've easily scored points winning by decision simply by outclassing his opponent by boxing him with his superior skills. What happens then? Fans will complain about a boring fight. Some poeple just need to start understanding that boxing is a sweet science, and not everybody fights like Manny Pacquiao.

Bogus Scorecard

Donaire should have won by unanimous decision. I threw out my scorecards as early as the 10th round, with Vazquez's only hopes of winning was scoring a knockout.


Official ringside judge Dr. Ruben Garcia surprised everyone when he scored the fight 115-112 for Vazquez. How he was able to come up with that score, is beyond my understanding. Garcia has been a boxing judge for more than 20 years, and has been a competent one for the most part.

I don't know what fight he saw to come up with a 115-112 score in favor of Vazquez, but I don't want to be too harsh on the guy either. However, with a scorecard like that, it's only fair to have the boxing commission to conduct some kind of investigation. You don't just all of a sudden become stupid at something after 20 years of being competent at it.