Advertisement
Advertisement

Donaire’s Ring Identity: Post-Fight Report Card

By Cliff Rold

What if this is just who he is?

Throughout the fight last Saturday, and after Nonito Donaire saved a looming likely points loss with a knockout win over two-time rival Vic Darchinyan, social media and message boards were afire with chatter about what they’d seen.

Has Donaire lost himself after the loss in April to Guillermo Rigondeuax?

Is Donaire slipping?

For the most part, it’s a lot of hogwash.  Donaire is capable of some spectacular stuff.  His speed and power are uncommon.  The good is good enough to make some ignore obvious flaws that have always been there.

Let’s go to the report cards.

Grades

Pre-Fight: Speed – Donaire A; Darchinyan B/Post: A; B+
Pre-Fight: Power – Donaire A; Darchinyan A/Post: A; B+
Pre-Fight: Defense – Donaire B; Darchinyan C+/Post: B; B
Pre-Fight: Intangibles – Donaire A; Darchinyan A/Post: B+; A

Lost amidst all the hand wringing about Donaire is what Darchinyan did right on Saturday.  He trained hard, and sparred a lot of rounds, and it showed.  He’s had six years to think about what went wrong on the night in 2007 when Donaire separated him from a Flyweight crown. 

That night, and the many tough nights he’s had since, allowed the game Armenian banger to come up with his best battle plan since a title unifying knockout of Cristian Mijares at Jr. Bantamweight.  He was obviously wary of the left hook from the get go and did not attack right away.  Darchinyan warmed to the task and waited for some openings.

He began to find them in round four, the first round of the fight he clearly carried.  All of it played on an understanding of what makes Donaire dangerous and what makes him vulnerable.  Going back to some of the success Moruti Mthalane had against Donaire at Flyweight, it’s been evident that a fighter who boxes Donaire can find chances. 

Come to him and he will eat you alive; just ask Wladimir Sidorenko or Fernando Montiel.  Be patient, and he can become a little befuddled.  The Donaire we saw against Darchinyan wasn’t remarkably different from the one we’ve seen since the Fernando Montiel fight.  Clashes with Omar Narvaez, Wilfredo Vazquez Jr., and in spots Toshiaki Nishioka have all seen a lot of down time.

Granted, some of those guys just weren’t fighting back much.  But Donaire doesn’t seem comfortable making other men fight.  He plays a part in how those fights play out.  The only recent fight where one can point to some in-ring adjustments, some adaptability, was the fight with Jeffrey Mathebula and Mathebula couldn’t hurt him.

Oscar De La Hoya was often open to the same criticism.  Like Donaire, what he did right worked against all but a handful of foes.  Ultimately on this night, Donaire found a way to win. 

Darchinyan couldn’t help himself.  He let himself get into an exchange after jarring Donaire with a big shot, left an opening, and it was over.  Donaire deserves some credit for that.  Darchinyan has faced a who’s who of the scale from 112-122 and only one man has stopped him. 

That he over performed on expectations was a credit.  Darchinyan did better because he is better than Narvaez, Vazquez, and Nishioka.  He has a whole career full of examples to prove it.  Because he’d lost some recent fights, and the calendar said he was old, assumptions were made that proved untrue.  Darchinyan still had enough pop to get Donaire’s attention. He still has speed that is ever underrated.  He’s still cagey. 

He still had too much fighter in him to avoid the inevitable.  

What remained true for the victor is that if you open up and fight Donaire, if you give him the openings and he finds them, he can still beat anyone around him on the scale.   

After all these years, that’s good enough to beat almost anyone.  It wasn’t good enough to beat Rigondeaux and the Cuban would likely have more confidence in a rematch.   Donaire’s promoter has expressed little interest in doing it again even if Donaire says he’s ready. 

We’ll see which way it goes.  For now, the hesitant Donaire, the one who has a boxing IQ that can be questioned, showed up again this weekend.  So did the one with a sturdy chin and monster punch.  The ‘pound-for-pound’ accolades that have followed him since the first Darchinyan fight may well have played with the heads of viewers.  They see flashes against the right style and ignore the evidence of other fights, assuming he can do what he did to Montiel to anyone.

Maybe he can’t.   

He is who he is.  Perhaps it’s best to accept that and see where it goes from here.              

Report Card Picks 2013: 49-24

Cliff Rold is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene, a founding member of the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board, and a member the Yahoo Pound for Pound voting panel, and the Boxing Writers Association of America.  He can be reached at [email protected]

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by royjonesjrKTFO on 11-16-2013

[QUOTE=EZ E;13931697]Nonito has be looking pretty regular lately, not like a presumed p4p fighter. Has he peaked out and leveled off??[/QUOTE] Matchmaking got you fooled, buddy. Nonito looks great against small, old, brawlers. Why do you think he's considering Salido…

Comment by Spray_resistant on 11-15-2013

Land a flush left hook if that doesn't work then.......:dunno:

Comment by EZ E on 11-15-2013

Nonito has be looking pretty regular lately, not like a presumed p4p fighter. Has he peaked out and leveled off??

Comment by Black Barty on 11-15-2013

[QUOTE=pugil1st;13931340]How can you give him a B for defense when he was loosing the fight in a championship round and kept getting hit with the same shot? That's crazy![/QUOTE] Let's not get carried away. Darch was winning on workrate but…

Comment by pugil1st on 11-15-2013

How can you give him a B for defense when he was loosing the fight in a championship round and kept getting hit with the same shot? That's crazy!

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (6)
Top Headlines Thurman-Porter Makes Working Weekend Worth The Wrangling Cotto vs. Marquez Negotiations Continue To Play Out Hurd: I Didn’t Want to Force the Stoppage After Dropping Molina Joshua Warns Wilder: Focus on Arreola, I'll Be To America Soon Photos/Weights: Edner Cherry vs Lydell Rhodes, Douglas-Collado 30 Day Weights: Crawford 150.4-Pounds, Postol 145.5-Pounds Bob Arum Details Top Rank's Plans in China Examining the Keith Thurman-Shawn Porter Scorecards Golovkin-Eubank Moves Closer After 'Very Positive' Talks in London Povetkin's Promoter: No Interim-Fight, Wilder Shot By Year's End Thurman-Porter: Highest Barclays Boxing Gate, 2nd Largest Crowd Roach Embraces Pacquiao-Broner: We'd Go For The Knockout! Juan Diaz: Win Over Vazquez Takes Me One Step Closer To Title Terence Crawford Special Debuts on HBO, July 9th Oscar Molina: I'll Come Back From Loss to Jarrett Hurd Froch: If Eubank Faces Golovkin in September - I'd Be Shocked Brook: After Vargas - I Need To Get in There With Keith Thurman! Ivan Baranchyk, Tommy Morrison's Son Win Big in Miami Pablo Cesar Cano-Alfonso Gomez Set For July 15, Gibson is Out Thurman: Porter Isn't Top Two, But He Remains Marquee at 147 Golovkin vs. Eubank: Hearn Aims To Finalize Deal in 48-72 Hours Tommy Langford-Ronny Gabel Set For July 16th in Cardiff Postol, Roach Reflect Back on Knocking Lucas Matthysse Out Frank Warren: Liam Smith Has Very Good Shot To Beat Canelo! Vargas To Kell Brook: I Already Signed, Let's Get This Over With! Thurman Wants To Keep Fighting on Free TV, Not on Pay-Per-View Froch: Golovkin Rejected Terms, I'd Walk Through DeGale in 5 or 6 Casey Ramos Faces Paredes on Top Rank Bill, 7/16 on UniMas Joseph Parker Embraces Anthony Joshua Title Fight For The Fall Mayweather Admits: For The 'Right Price' I Might Come Back! Mikaela Lauren-Klara Svensson Showdown Set For Sept. 10 Mayweather Backs Golden Boy's Decision on Canelo-Golovkin Freddie Roach Feels Albert Pagara Could Be Future World Champ "Fighting Words" - Keith Thurman: Once Upon A "One Time" Golovkin vs. Eubank Deal Hangs in The Balance Over Sky Money Deontay Wilder To Anthony Joshua: Why Wait? Let's Fight Now! Photos: Mayweather Hits BET Awards, Laila Ali Honors Father Video: Peter Quillin Discusses The Future of His Career Thurman: Porter Was Good With Pressure But Wasn't Effective Video: Chris Eubank Jr. Eager To Get Hands on Gennady Golovkin
Advertisement

Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement