In a showdown for a vacant junior featherweight belt, Nonito Donaire (36-3, 23 KOs) had to walk through hellfire and brimstone to outlast a game Cesar Juarez (17-3, 13 KOs) in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
The fight appeared to be a mismatch on paper and Donaire nearly made quick work of Juarez, when he hurt him early on and then dropped him in the fourth round. Somehow however, Juarez kept getting up and as the fight wore on, began to let his hands go while Donaire’s punches began to have less potency.
Donaire continued piling on the points but was forgoing his defense in hopes of a knockout, eating big punches and suffering a swollen left eye. Juarez had his best rounds from 8-10 but Donaire landed some bombs in the final two rounds to maintain his lead. Final scores were 116-110, 116-110 and 117-109 for Donaire in a Fight of the Year candidate.