Last year we saw Nonito Donaire (34-3, 22) like we'd never seen him before. We him being stopped for the first time in his exceptional career. The "Filipino Flash" wasn't just stopped but was brutalised by the monstrously hard hitting Nicholas Walters. The bout showed that Donaire wasn't a Featherweight, despite the fact he had claimed a world title there.
Today Donaire dropped down to the more natural Super Bantamweight weight class and returned to the ring in style as he dominated the over-matched and under-skilled William Prado (22-5-1, 15) in a bout for the NABF Super Bantamweight title.
Donaire started slowly, it was a very tentative opening minute. By the end of the opening round however it seemed like Donaire was his old self, as he opened up on Prado and wobbled the Brazilian who seemed unable to cope with the power, speed and skill of the Filipino. A hook seemed to wobble Prado whilst a flurry seemed to terrify him. It was as if Donaire had taken a minute to compose himself, then suddenly rolled the clock back.
Sadly for fans hoping to see a prolonged Donaire showcase this was over almost as soon as it had begun.
In the second round a Donaire uppercut split the guard of the Brazilian and a wobbled him. Donaire smelt blood and went for the kill which came only moments later following a flurry of vicious shots that left the referee with no option but to stop the bout.
On paper this was mismatch and Donaire did what was supposed to do. On the other hand however he managed to become only the second fighter to stop Prado, and did it quicker than current WBA "regular" champion Scott Quigg, who took 3 rounds to see off the hapless Brazilian.
It now seems likely that Donaire will attempt to claim a Super Bantamweight world title later in the year. The division however is a hot one with fighters like Guillermo Rigondeaux, who holds a decision win over Donaire, Carl Frampton, Leo Santa Cruz, Scott Quigg, Albert Pagara and Shingo Wake all being among the top names in a division that now appears to have a bottle neck with a lot of good contenders emerging over the last 12 months.
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