San Leandros Glenn Filipino Bomber Donaire triumphantly returned to the ring Friday night with an eighth-round technical knockout of former strawweight world champion Alex Nene Sanchez of Puerto Rico in Kissimmee, Fla., for the WBC Latino interim flyweight title.
On the heels of a three-year hiatus from boxing, Donaire (18-4-1, 10 KOs) had some initial trouble with the shorter Sanchez (31-8-1, 21 KOs), but true to his nickname, the Filipino-American called on his power in the second round to floor his foe twice.
The first knockdown came via a right hand that dazed Sanchez and caused his gloves to touch the canvas. However, the referee hesitated before giving Sanchez an eight-count, which prompted Donaire to land two more short right hands to ensure the knockdown ruling.
After rising to his feet on shaky ground, Sanchez tried to withstand the onslaught by returning fire, but with seconds left in the frame, he lay prone on the canvas yet again from a furious flurry from Donaire, punctuated by an overhand right.
While Sanchez would get up once more and wobble to his corner after the bell, the damage had been done, and Donaires confidence level had risen to the point where he fearlessly stood in front of him willing to trade as the clash progressed.
By the end of the eighth, Donaire had built a sizable lead. Rather than answer the bell to commence the ninth, Sanchez would not budge from his stool, signaling the stoppage victory for the East Bay resident, who subsequently wept tears of joy with his father and trainer Nonito Sr.
Official time was 3:00.
Thank you guys for your well wishes! Thank you Kennel Boxing Gym! See you all next week, Donaire posted on his Facebook account following the bout.
Word of the victory quickly reached the Philippines, where Glenns younger brother, unified bantamweight champ Nonito Donaire Jr., sent his congratulations:
Just got wind here in the Philippines that my older brother Glenn won his comeback fight. Congrats Manoy (older brother) Boyet on your victory. I know we have our differences in life but your kids will be very proud and thankful for the dinner you put on the table tonight and every night after because its your hard work and no one else's. God bless.
With the win, the elder Donaire figures to be a candidate for Comcast SportsNet Bay Areas Comeback Fighter of the Year Award. The list of nominees for the inaugural Northern California Boxing Awards will be unveiled next Thursday on CSNBayArea.com.
Boxing correspondent Ryan Maquiana is a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America, and Ring Magazines Ratings Advisory Panel. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org, check out his blog at www.maqdown.com or follow him on Twitter: @RMaq28.