CARSON, California (AP) -Nonito Donaire stopped Toshiaki Nishioka at 1:54 of the ninth round Saturday, defending his WBO super bantamweight title with a dominant performance in his 29th straight victory.
Donaire (30-1, 19 KOs) was less thrilling but more dominant, patiently waiting for openings against Nishioka (39-5-3) before knocking down the Japanese veteran in the sixth despite hurting his left hand during the bout.
Donaire, the Filipino-born fighter raised in California's Bay Area, then put him down again with a vicious right hand in the ninth, and referee Raul Caiz stopped it after Donaire landed an uppercut moments later. Nishioka had won 16 straight fights since March 2004, but couldn't keep up with Donaire's combination of power and tactical skill.
Nishioka threw just eight punches in the first round, and the crowd that had just watched Rios' frenzied slugfest with Alvarado understandably booed the early rounds. Donaire attempted to force the action with little success until the sixth, when he landed a left uppercut, followed by a right hand and another uppercut that put Nishioka on the canvas.
Donaire, who also held the IBF version of the title before vacating it this week, was upstaged by Rios and Alvarado in a fight that thoroughly lived up to its hype.