Nonito Donaire vs. Ruben Garcia Hernandez – Results
By Chris Williams: Former 4 division world champion Nonito “Filipino Flash” Donaire (38-4, 24 KOs) got back to his winning ways on Saturday night with a one-sided 10 round unanimous decision win over Ruben Garcia Hernandez (22-3-1, 9 KOs) to win the vacant WBC Silver featherweight title at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas.
The judges’ scores were 100-90, 99-91 and 99-91. Those were fair scores. Hernandez was durable if nothing else. He stayed in the fight long enough to bounce some big shots off Donaire’s chin, and make him look his age.
Donaire didn’t fade tonight after 5 rounds like he’d been doing lately in his fights against Jessie Magadaleno and Cesar Juarez. Donaire gassed out in both of those fights after 5 rounds, and he took a beating. Donaire beat Juarez y a 12 round unanimous decision, but then lost to Magdaleno last November in a fight in which Donaire lost his WBO World super bantamweight title.
In round 6, Hernandez started to get to Donaire in nailing him with some tremendous right hands to the head and left hooks. It was scary the way Donaire’s head would whiplash each time Hernandez hit him with anything. Donaire showed a good chin in taking Hernandez’s shots, but he shouldn’t have been getting so solidly. It looked bad. Donaire still was able to land some nice shots to take the 6th, but he was starting to fade a little.
Donaire, 34, did not look as good as the scores would have you believe, as the 24-year-old Hernandez was able to land some big shots in every round of the fight that got the attention of Donaire. He should have been able to knockout a guy at Hernandez’s level. This guy isn’t a major player at featherweight. Hernandez was stopped by Randy Caballero last year in the 7th round. Hernandez was dropped twice in round 7 in that fight and ended up staying on his stool after the round had ended.
Donaire’s physique looks aged to me. He’s starting to look like a guy nearing 40. It wasn’t the same Donaire that I’d seen fight many times before. He’s definitely gotten older. I don’t know how much longer Donaire has in his boxing career. I suspect if he gets beaten in 2018 while challenging for a world title, he’ll call it quits and retire.
Power-wise, Donaire wasn’t that much more powerful than Hernandez, which is not good news for Donaire. He wants to fight for a world title in early 2018. The way that Hernandez was able to connect with his shots tonight, it’s going to be tough on Donaire to beat any of the current featherweight champions unless he’s targeting IBF champion Lee Selby. That champion can’t punch, and Donaire would mainly have to deal with Selby’s clever boxing skills for him to find a way to beat him.
Winning the World Boxing Council Silver 126 lb. title suggests that Donaire will be targeting WBC featherweight champion Gary Russell Jr. in 2018 instead of Selby or WBO champion Oscar Valdez. I guess it makes the most sense for Donaire to go after Russell Jr. though, because he’s someone that he can likely get a title shot against.
I doubt that Top Rank would let Donaire anywhere near Valdez now. The Mexican fighter is too vulnerable, and Donaire has enough power to spoil it for him. Valdez looked like he was getting hurt last Friday night each time he was hit solidly by Genesis Servania in their fight on ESPN Boxing in Tucson, Arizona.