Donaire vs Vazquez Jr: Papito Must Be Aggressive Early to Win WBO Title

Jeff Chase@@Real_Jeff_ChaseSenior Analyst IIFebruary 4, 2012

There will be a battle tonight to win the vacant WBO Super Bantamweight title, as Nonito "The Filipino Flash" Donaire will be pitted against Wilfredo "Papito" Vazquez Jr. Both fighters are previous title holders, though only Vazquez has held the title at this level.

The fighters come into tonight without a heavy favorite, but many point to Donaire as the guy with the best chance. He currently holds both the WBC and WBO Bantamweight titles, and is looking to add a third to his collection.

Both fighters have been able to knock out their opponents throughout their respective careers, each accruing 18 knockouts. The only difference is that Vazquez has done that in just 21 wins, while it took Donaire 27 to accomplish the same feat.

NEW YORK - OCTOBER 22:  Nonito Donaire of the Philippines connects with a left to Omar Narvaez of Argentina in the WBC, WBO World Bantamweight Titles bout at Madison Square Garden on October 22, 2011 in New York City.  (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images
Chris Trotman/Getty Images

Donaire is a quick fighter who can really go the distance, so it will be important for Vazquez to start throwing punches early. This way he will be able to get in his shots, and not give his opponent the chance to stretch out the fight and take it in the later rounds.

Vazquez lost in May of last year to Jorge Arce, a fight in which he lost the Super Bantamweight title. That fight went 12 rounds, which was eventually called by his own corner because they couldn't let the fight go on any longer.

He did bounce back in his last fight, back in October, where he took down Robert Carlos Leyva in three rounds. This fight won't be as easy, but he was definitely able to turn things around following his first career loss.

Donaire hasn't lost since March of 2001, the second fight of his career, which ended by unanimous decision. Since then, he has been on a tear, and has continued to move up from class to class. However, it remains to be seen how he will perform at this level.

With Donaire making his first appearance at this level—he got himself up to 122 lbs to fight here—it will be important for Vazquez to slow him down early and go for the TKO. Otherwise, this will be an uphill battle for him.


Jeff Chase is a Featured Columnist for the Chicago Cubs and Arizona State football.

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