Nonito Donaire, Jr. gave the Philippines a little something to cheer about in the midst of the death and devastation left by super typhoon Yolanda, stopping old foe Vic Darchinyan in the ninth round of their 10-round non-title bout in Corpus Christi, Texas.
Trailing in the scorecards of two of the three judges after eight rounds, Donaire (32-2) stepped it up in the ninth and caught Darchinyan (39-5-1) with a left hook followed by a solid right that sent the Armenian-Australian crashing to the canvass at the 1:10 mark. The 37-year-old Darchinyan got up at the count of four, but Donaire immediately went for the kill, tagging Darchinyan with another right that sent him reeling into the ropes.
Donaire then chased Darchinyan around, finally trapping his opponent in a corner and landing successive blows that forced referee Laurence Cole to wave it off at the 2:06 mark.
The win allowed Donaire to bounce back from a stunning unanimous decision loss to Guillermo Rigondeaux last April, and he immediately called out the Cuban for a rematch during the post-fight interview.
"That's who I want," he said, referring to Rigondeaux.
The stoppage win also put a definitive conclusion to his domination of Darchinyan, whom he first knocked out in 2007 in the fifth round of their International Boxing Federation flyweight title match. Darchinyan had always claimed the loss was a fluke and more of a lucky punch.