Donaire regains WBO title, beats Juarez
Nonito Donaire reclaimed the WBO super bantamweight belt after outpointing Cesar Juarez of Mexico Saturday (Manila time) in one of the best fights of the year at Roberto Clemente Colesium in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Donaire, 33, won back the crown he once lost to Guillermo Rigondeaux two years ago after the undefeated Cuban was stripped off his belts due to inactivity, but not after having to survive a gritty Juarez in the latter part of the fight.
Donaire (36-3, 23 KOs) dominated the early rounds — scoring a knockdown in the fourth round off a left hook — that gave him the cushion he needed to get the judges’ nod, 116-110, 116-110, 117-109.
But an aggressive Juarez turned the tide in the middle rounds, battering the 33-year-old Donaire who was clearly slowing by the seventh round under an onslaught that left him with one eye cut and swelling.
Juarez, 24, should have been credited with a knockdown in the 10th, when his left hook sent Donaire down.
But Donaire had enough left to land effectively in the final rounds and won the thriller.
The resurgent Donaire has now won three in a row since his return to 122 pounds following a sixth-round knockout loss to Jamaican Nicholas Walters last year.
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