Nonito Donaire Outpoints Harutyunyan
“I was in a fight tonight!”-Donaire
By Charles “Sweetchuck” Presnell
Photos: Justin Hughes
Boxing fans at the Pechanga Resort as well as Showtime were treated to an excellent night of boxing as Showtime continued to display why they are quickly becoming the new leader of boxing telecasts. The main event featured two very skilled up and coming super flyweights in Nonito Donaire taking on Kahren Harutyunyan in a ten round scrap for the NABF Title. Both technicians came in with similar records and fight experience, as it would come to pass both fighters brought out the best in one another. While some may criticize the status of these two as far as being a contender, the fact is this fight separated a contender from a prospect.
Donaire entered first to a ruckus crowd still buzzing from the co-feature bout. Then came Harutyunyan’s entrance to the ring with some of his hometown fans cheering him on and chanting his name. After the formal introductions the two began what would end up being a chess match. Donaire struck early with some hard punches and kept Kahren at the end of his jab. Harutyunyan managed to get inside and land punches on Nonito at times, however, they were all one at a time. Donaire landed a hard jab in the second round that put Harutyunyan down for the first time in his career, nonetheless, Kahren easily beat the count.
In the fourth round Donaire started a body attack following up with rights that froze Harutyanyun. Surviving this onslaught seemed to give Harutyunyan confidence as he managed to come forward and do some decent work towards the end of the round. Nonito injured his left hand midway through the fifth and changed the course of the fight. No longer was he able to throw the jab with as much authority.
Throughout the middle rounds the fight turn more strategic with both fighters doing techniques to counter the other. The final round saw the most action as Harutyunyan came out fighting as if his career was on the line. He landed his best punches in this round and kept Nonito backing up. The last thirty seconds saw the two exchange punches with Nonito landing hard punches to stagger Harutyunyan. Anxious moments came at the time of the decision when Jimmy Lennon Jr. announced that there was a split decision by the scores of 97-92 twice for Donaire and 96-94 for Harutyunyan. In the end, it was the harder punches and ring generalship from Donaire that ended up being the deciding factor of the fight.
After the fight Nonito said, “I was in a fight tonight!” Nonito spoke of taking a short break to let his hand heal then defend his title. “I am definitely going to defend my title, that’s all I cared about, winning and bringing the title home.” When Nonito was asked about the injuries he said, “We leave our excuses at home.” Nonito expressed regrets on not being about to knockout Harutyunyan and mentioned that Cameron Dunkin, his manager, was going to set up a formal training camp for him. “Next time you’re gonna see the real Flash!” Donaire promised.
The co-feature saw Israel Hernandez (12-1-1, 12 KO’s) knockout top prospect Tyrone Harris (14-1, 12 KO’s) in the fourth round. The fight started out with Harris landing beautiful combinations and backing up Hernandez. Towards the middle of the opening stanza, Harris cut Hernandez and then continued to land. The second round Harris continued to dominate the off balance Hernandez. The third round began like the proceeding round, nonetheless, midway through Hernandez landed a stiff right that hurt Harris badly. Hernandez followed up on the hurt Harris and staggered him a few more times before the round was over. Harris tried to get back in the fourth landing a few nice combinations, as it would come to pass, Hernandez got off the ropes and shrugged his shoulders as if to say, “Is that all?” Hernandez then reeled off combinations which ended with a devastating left uppercut which put Harris flat on his back with his mind in another zip code. It was the twelfth knockout in twelve wins for Hernandez.
Former world champion Vivian Harris got back on track by easily outpointing Marteze Logan over ten rounds. Harris controlled the fight with his jab and straight right hands as Marteze seemed to refuse to engage Harris in a real fight. Harris looked sharp and boxed smart, nonetheless, Harris fought like he held something back and could have scored a knockout. The scores for the fight were 100-89 on all three cards.