Earlier today Japanese Bantamweight star Naoya Inoue (20-0, 17) [井上 尚弥] departeed from Japan ahead of his upcoming defenses of the IBF and WBA "super" Bantamweight world titles against Michael Dasmarinas (30-2-1, 20), on June 19th. At the airport he was flanked by his family, including his father and trainer Shingo Inoue, his brother Takuma Inoue [井上拓真] and his cousin Koki Inoue [浩樹井上], who are travelling over with him to help put some final touches to his preparation. The rest of his team, including promoter Hideyuki Ohashi will join the Inoue clan closer to the fight, with the plan being for themto fly out on June 16th.
Befoe leaving Japan Inoue did an interview with Japanese broadcaster WOWOW.
During the interview he explained that he would be losing the rest of his weight and relaxing over in America. It seems clear that the hard work has been done in Japan, and he explained that although he doesn't know how much sparring he did for this bout, it was more than usually, and that he was doing 6 and 8 round sessions. The focal point for those spars were tall southpaws, exactly what he'll come up against when he shares the ring with Dasmarinas.
In regards to weight, it seems there's still a few kilo's left for him to lose, but he started that there is no problem at all in making weight.
When asked about this being his fourth world title fight abroad, he spoke highly of international fans and stated that he enjoyed the atmosphere of the fans for his bouts against Antonio Nieves in the US and Emmanuel Rodrgiuez in Scotland.
Regarding this bout Inoue was pretty clear that this wouldn't got to the scorecards, and he did state he was confidence of winning, though did accept that there may be some issues with the southpaw stance and height of Dasmarinas, explaining the focus on the sparring he's had.
Notably Inoue was also very open about wanting to face recently crowned WBC champion Nonito Donaire, the man he beat in the WBSS Bantamweight final in 2019, being impressed by Donaire's win over Nordine Oiubaali a few weeks ago. Donaire, and WBO champion John Riel Casimero, still seem to be on Inoue's mind and it was clear that facing one of those two later in the year was a driving factor for victory against Dasmarinas, with Inoue desperate to add more Bantamweight titles to his collection.
(Image credit - WOWOW)
On June 19th we'll see unified Bantamweight champion Naoya Inoue (20-0, 17) [井上 尚弥] defending his WBA "Super" and IBF Bantamweight titles against Filipino fighter Michael Dasmarinas (30-2-1, 20), who enters as the IBF's mandatory challenger. Today, ahead of that bout, Inoue and promoter Hideyuki Ohashi attended a virtual press conference to talk about that contest, the future and Nonito Donaire.
It was revealed at the press conference that sparring for the bout finished on May 29th, with the focus now being on preparing final adjustments and shadow boxing. The sparring was high quality sparring with Japanese talent, such as Reiya Abe (21-3-1, 9) [阿部麗也], Ikuro Sadatsune (11-4-3, 4) [定常 育郎], Rentaro Kimura (3-0, 3) [木村蓮太朗], Jin Minamide (4-1, 3) [南出仁] and OPBF Bantamweight champion Kazuki Nakajima (10-0-1, 8) [中嶋一輝]. It should be noted that he sparred more for this bout than he usually does, and that was put down to the fact he was in better shape than usual.
It should be noted that the sparring partners, on the whole, are southpaws who are taller than Inoue, and naturally bigger. That was obviously the focus of the sparring to try and prepare directly for Dasmarinas.
The travel plan is to leave Japan for the bout on Wednesday, along with a rather sizable team, a reported 10 people in total. This should give him over a week to shake whatever jetlag he might have upon landing in the US.
Regarding weight issues, Inoue stated that he suffered from somecramps ahead of his last bout, against Jason Moloney, and will be looking to avoid them here. Though it appears there is no issues at all in making the 118lb Bantamweight limit, and that his weight loss is very much "as usual" and that he feels the same way he usually does 2 weeks before a bout.
In regards to Dasmarinas, it appears a careful, cautious gameplan has been set up for Inoue. They seem wary about Dasmarinas's size and reach, but will look to break him down slowly.
The longer term plan, after he gets past Dasmarinas, is for Inoue to attempt to unify all 4 Bantamweight world titles. He spoke aboue wanting to face recently WBC champion Nonito Donaire, and it was clear that's a bout Inoue has his eye on for the future. It was also a bout that Hideyuki Ohashi also spoke about wanting, whilst also praising Donaire's recent win over Nordine Oubaali.
One other thing that was mentioned here was that Inoue's purse for the fight was $1,000,000.
At 38-years-old, Donaire became the oldest bantamweight champion in boxing history Saturday night with a highlight reel fourth-round knockout of Nordine Oubaali to claim the WBC Bantamweight World Championship.
This marks Donaire's third reign as bantamweight champion of the world.
Don't talk with Nonito Donaire about Father Time. He simply refuses to acknowledge him. "The King has returned!" said Donaire after making boxing history at the Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California.
Donaire started unloading the heavy artilery in the third round when he caught and dropped Oubaali with a left hook with 46 seconds left in the frame. He then detonated that same left hook to drop Oubaali and become Champion of the World for a 9th time through all the divisions.
One viewer with a vested interest was leading Bantamweight World Title Contender Australian Sensation Jason “Mayhem” Moloney.
The Aussie discussed his plans and Donaire’s historic Championship victory.
“My training’s going very well. I’m always in the gym and I’m constantly making big improvements.
I’ve been ready to fight for months now but unfortunately COVID made it extremely difficult for us to host our fights in Australia. I’m looking to fight asap. I can’t wait to get back in the ring, I’ve got a lot to prove and big goals that I know I will achieve.”
“Donaire’s performance against Oubaali was very impressive!
I favoured Donaire leading into the fight but I did wonder whether Father Time might finally catch up to him, especially after an 18-month layoff but he was brilliant.”
“Congratulations to Nonito on another fantastic win! I’ve got a lot of respect for Nonito and what he has achieved in his career.”
“I always want to fight the best and take on the biggest challenges and I’d love the opportunity to fight the future hall of famer, I know it would be a sensational fight and it’s a fight I know I will win.”
This evening in the US we'll see WBC Bantamweight champion Nordine Oubaali (17-0, 12) taking on mandatory challenger Nonito Donaire (40-6, 26) in what is a very, very interesting matchup that could have major implications on the Bantamweight division over the next year or two. On paper it looks a brilliant match up for fans and one that could prove to be very interesting when the men get in the ring, especially given both of them have been inactive since November 2019.
Despite being an interesting match up the bookies have strongly favoured Oubaali to pick up the win here, with the Moroccan born French fighter best priced at 5/11, and widely available at around1/3, to pick up the biggest win of his career. Donaire on the other hand is best priced at 12/5 and is widely available at around 21/10 to win and claim yet another title in his illustrious career.
The draw is widely available at 16/1.
Things get a lot more interesting when we look at the “Method of victory” market. Here we find the runaway favourite being a decision win for Oubaali at 8/11. The other 3 results however are all very, very similarly pierced. A stoppage win for Donaire, the second most likely outcome, is 9/2, a decision for the Filipino is 11/2 and a stoppage for Oubaali is 6/1.
Given the expected result is an Oubaali decision win the bout is, understandably, expected to go the distance with most bookies pricing it at 2/5 to go 12 rounds and 12/5 to finish inside the distance.
(All odds correct at time of writing, all odds sourced from UK Bookmakers)
Preview - Oubaali faces Donaire in WBC mandatory title bout!
Later today we'll see a much anticipated WBC Bantamweight title fight as defending champion Nordine Oubaali (17-0, 12) defends his title against mandatory challenger Nonito Donaire (40-6, 26), in a mouth watering clash between two veterans.
Yesterday the two men took part in their weigh in and both men managed to hit the scales at an identical weight of 117.5lbs for the bout.
The contest was ordered way back in late 2019 but due to Covid issues, both indirectly, causing the boxing calendar to really be messed up in 2020, and directly, with Oubaali suffering from the virus directly, the bout has been delayed several times. That lengthy delay has seen both men out of the ring for around 18 months, yet both looked in fantastic shape at the weigh in and it showed the two men were still very much professionals who have real desire to come out on top here.
For fans wanting to watch the bout it will be aired live on Showtime in the US, FITE TV for much of the world and on WOWOW Prime in Japan.
Preview - Oubaali faces Donaire in WBC mandatory title bout!
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