NONITO Donaire’s nasty left hook did it again.
Six years since knocking out Vic Darchinyan with his most effective weapon, the 30-year-old Filipino once more nailed the cocky Armenian with a devastating left to win by technical knockout their 10-round rematch on Sunday (Manila time) at the American Bank Center in Corpus Christi, Texas.
Laurence Cole stopped the fight at the 2:06 mark of the ninth round after Donaire swarmed all over his badly hurt opponent.
The `Filipino Flash’ staggered and sent the 37-year-old Darchinyan down to the canvas with a left hook, before the Armenian heavy puncher got up on the count of six but obviously on wobbly knees.
Donaire was quick to take advantage and went for the kill before Cole stepped in to stop the engaging fight.
The sensational win, reminiscent of Donaire’s fifth-round stoppage of Darchinyan to win the International Boxing Federation (IBF) flyweight title in 2007, improved the Filipino’s record to 22-2 (21 KOs).
It also put him back on track for a possible title fight at 126 lbs. after losing his world super-bantamweight crown to Cuban Guillermo Rigondeaux last March.
Darchinyan meanwhile, fell to 39-6-1 with 28 KOs.
Until the fight was stopped, Darchinyan appeared to be getting the better end of the bout, and the judges' score cards reflected it as the Armenian was leading 78-74 on two cards, while the third had it even at 76-76.