Larry Merchant gives Nonito Donaire high marks for his latest victory; says WBA champ Nicholas Walters could be next

Nonito Donaire after his victory over Vic Darchinyan on Saturday night in Corpus Christi (Photo: Chris Farina – Top Rank)

Donaire_DaRCHINYAN_131109_004a (2)

By Chris Robinson

On Saturday night, in Corpus Christi, Tex., Nonito Donaire stepped back into the ring for the first time following his upset loss to Cuba’s Guillermo Rigondeaux earlier this year.

In front of Donaire was a familiar foe in Vic Darchinyan, the same man he blitzed out in five rounds over six years ago in one of his most resounding performances to date.

On this night their HBO rematch was far more competitive, however, as Donaire and his awkward Armenian foe appeared to be fighting on even terms through the first eight rounds of their bout.

Some observers even had Darchinyan ahead in the match as the ninth round started, but that is where Donaire took over.

Midway through the frame, Donaire clipped Darchinyan and dropped him with a sweeping left hook.

Sensing that his foe was dazed upon rising from the knockdown, Donaire rushed in for the kill and battered Darchinyan along the ropes until referee Laurence Cole stopped the action.

Calling the fight from ringside, veteran commentator Larry Merchant gave his thoughts on the latest triumph from the ‘Filipino Flash’.

“I thought that he was fighting his normal boxer-puncher style against a guy who knew him,” Merchant explained. “He was avoiding that left hook that ended his world as he knew it seven years ago. To Donaire’s credit, instead of submitting and saying ‘I didn’t want to be here anyway’, he unleashed the inner fighter in him.

“I give him credit,” Merchant added. “He was losing the fight. Darchinyan had seized the drama of the fight. And he went for it. He knew he had to go for it and he did and I give him the highest marks for that.”

A longtime commentator for HBO, Merchant has been involved in several of Donaire’s showcases and was also able to study his temperament as a fighter over the years.

Merchant revealed, according to his sources at least, that Donaire’s passion for the sport had been waning following his banner 2012 campaign and that his duel with Darchinyan this weekend gave us a chance to see where his head and heart were truly at.

“He’s an unusual person in boxing,” Merchant stated. “There’s a sensitivity about him, a kind of vulnerability about him. And after having those four fights and being Fighter of the Year and making a lot of money, he really had some inner fight about whether he wanted to go on.

“I’m told that he was considering retiring even before the Rigondeaux fight,” said Merchant. “Or just thinking about it. Normally, when an athlete or fighter thinks about retiring, he’s retired. Maybe he’s found that it’s not just getting to the top of the ladder. If you want to be successful at your craft, it’s staying there and being able to dedicate yourself.”

When asked for his thoughts on Donaire against the winner of the proposed Jan. 25 tilt between WBO champion Orlando Salido and two-time gold medalist Vasyl Lomachenko, Merchant changed things up and hinted that another opponent may already be in the works for the Fil-Am star.

“The way I hear, they want to put him in with the kid Walters,” Merchant said, referring to WBA champion Nicholas Walters who scored a 4th round TKO victory over Alberto Garza on Saturday’s undercard.

“There’s talk about making that fight,” Merchant noted. “Then, maybe he can fight the winner of Salido vs. Lomachenko down the road.”

CHECK BELOW FOR more updates from the boxing world…

Robert Garcia says brother Mikey will rise like Pacquiao and win titles in 4 or 5 weight classes

BYrPd98IUAAUN8y (2)

Larry Merchant had Nonito Donaire losing to Vic Darchinyan at the time of the stoppage

Donaire_DaRCHINYAN_131109_003a (3)

Joel Diaz gives praise to Mikey Garcia but admits he’s studying him as a possible future opponent

536983_10152088410616929_1883852605_n (2)

WBA champ Nicholas Walters win on the HBO undercard; reveals whether or not he wants Donaire next

Valdez_Raya_131109_001a jjj (2)

Nonito Donaire vs. Vic Darchinyan II Offical Weigh-in from Corpus Christi, Tex. ahead of HBO rematch

Donaire_Darchinyan_weighin_131108_001a (3)

EXCLUSIVE: Vanes Martirosyan and Demetrius Andrade nearly come to blows at their weigh-in

Martirosyan_Andrade_weighin_131108_002a (3)

Nonito Donaire Sr. believes Vic Darchinyan is a worse fighter than when he first fought Nonito

Donaire_Darchinyan_weighin_131108_004a (3)

Brandon Rios says people in China don’t like Manny Pacquiao

IMG_0473 (2)

Marcos Maidana on Broner’s training clip, his sparring with Steve Forbes, and finding a way to win

IMG_0470 (2)

Roger Mayweather Mailbag Vol. 1: Floyd the best of all time? Floyd vs. Tommy Hearns, and more

IMG_0249 (2)

Floyd Mayweather Sr. Mailbag Vol. 1: Floyd’s sparring w/ Spadafora, Muhammad Ali, training Roger

IMG_0246 (2)

Evgeny Gradovich continues to grind for the Billy Dib rematch; more hard work at the RGBA

IMG_9799 (2)

Chris Robinson can be reached at Trimond@aol.com

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>