Earlier today we saw the highly anticipated rematch between Japanese Monster Naoya Inoue (23-0, 20) [井上 尚弥] and Filipino legend Nonito Donaire (41-7, 27), who battled to unify the WBA "super", IBF, WBC and Ring Magazine titles.
The bout was hugely anticipated due, in part, to their brilliant 2019 clash which saw Inoue over-coming a fractured orbital to win a decision over Donaire in the Fight of the Year. This time around we were expecting something just as good, especially given how Donaire had looked since then, blasting out Nordine Oubaali and Reymart Gaballo since that loss.
What few would have anticipated was for Inoue to completely smash Donaire in a way that no one had ever done before.
The opening round started with Donaire looking to land his huge left hook within seconds. It was clear that the "Filipino Flash" wanted to remind Inoue what his power and left hand could do. Sadly for Donaire the shot didn't really land. Following Donaire's earlier left hook Inoue back to box and move, looking for openings and waiting for Donaire to leave a gap. The action seemed tense for a minute, before Inoue began to find a home for his jab, and left Donaire chasing him. The jab of Inoue was sensational, but it wasn't going to hurt Donaire. Instead a left hook with about 35 seconds of round left saw Inoue almost wake Donaire up and the Filipino became more aggressive, before being dropped just moments before the bell from a clinical Inoue right hand. Donaire beat the count, and was lucky there wasn't any of the round left, but it was clear that Inoue didn't want to have this one going rounds.
Given Donaire's excellent chin it was a surprise to see him going down this early, but it was a sign of Inoue's power and a real wake up call to just how spiteful Inoue in Reyes gloves were.
In round 2 Inoue work rate picked up as he looked to take the fight to Donaire, something fighters rarely do. It seemed like Donaire wasn't really expecting to see Inoue go after him like was. Despite being under pressure Donaire did manage try fighting back, but he was wobbled several times by Inoue's power, with the monster backing Donaire on to the ropes and landing a huge right hand. The pressure from Inoue kept coming as he applied an intelligent swarming attack. Donaire tried to fight back but was hurt again, stumbling across the ring. It seemed like he was set to go down but some how he stayed up right, and soon afterwards Inoue was all over him again, unloading to head and body before finally sending Donaire down for the second time in the fight with a clinical left hook, with the referee quickly waving the bout off immediately after the knockdown.
After the bout Inoue attended a press conference and seemed incredibly proud about his performance, whilst explaining he focused on using his speed. He also explained that when he got caught by a left hook he thought he'd give Donaire one back. He also explained that it was like a dream. Notable Inoue also stated that while he is looking to move up to Super Bantamweight he still wants to unify all the Bantamweight titles, and it seems like he wants to face Englishman Paul Butler, the current WBO champion, before moving up in weight. If that bout can't be made by the end of the year however, he will move up in weight.
Inoue also stated that he felt proud to fight against Donaire.
As for Donaire he reportedly cancelled his plans to attend the press conference, and we dare say it is now, finally, time for the legendary Filipino great to hang them up and retire following what has been an incredible career
World Title Results
Whether you like them or not World Titles add prestige to any bout as a result we've included the results of world title bouts in this special section.