Boxing champion Naoya ‘Monster’ Inoue extended the WBC bantamweight title, to 23-0 with second KO of Nonito Donaire.
They call Naoya Inoue “The Beast” for good reason.
When he met Nonito Donaire in November 2019, Inoue was honestly tested for the first time in the ESPN Annual War. He defeated Donaire (42-7, 8 KOs) through election 2 that night.
But 31 months later, Inoue made it easier for future Hall of Famer and second round TKO in their bantamweight title race Tuesday in Saitama, Japan.
Inoue (23-0, 20 KOs) down Donaire with a sharp right hand in closing Round 1 seconds, and then knocked him down again in Round 2.
The left rope from Inoue shook Donaire in the second half, before the Japanese star got off the corner and fell into the corner, followed by the right hand and left hook that hit again.
Donaire (42-7, 28 KOs) won, but the 39-year-old from the Philippines had no form to continue as the referee stopped the ball at 1:24 for Round 2.
With that victory, Inoue added a third head of 118 pounds and strengthened itself as ESPN No. 2 pound-for-pound boxer (if not No. 1).
“In the first episode, I received a left hook from Nonito, and the fist made me wake up and settle down,” Inoue, 29, said through an interpreter. “… In order to reach my highest potential I have to win this war so I just decided … to end the war by this time.”
The quick finish was very different from the first fight between Inoue and Donaire in the World Boxing Super Series finals. Inoue, a three-pronged specialist, broke a right orbital bone and a broken nose at the beginning of the matchup.
He fought back and knocked Donaire to the ground with a shotgun in Round 11. Inoue almost finished, but Donaire survived and lost on the scorecards (114-113, 116-111 and 117-109).
Between their meetings, Inoue fought three times and Donaire fought twice, but it was “The Filipino Flash” that met with fierce competition.
Donaire scored Nordine Oubaali in the fourth round to become a bantamweight champion three times and retained the title with the fourth KO of Reymart Gaballo in December.
Inoue, meanwhile, defended his three-match winning streak, with a long-range win against. Jason Moloney, Michael Dasmarinas and Aran Dipaen (TKO-8 victory in December).
When Inoue got into the ring with Donaire again, it sounded like a continuation of the first battle. After 12 rounds against each other, there was no pleasant opening as they exchanged a large shot between the rings. But by this time, Inoue was very sharp.
Donaire entered the ring who voted No. 2 and ESPN at 118 pounds, but offered a slight resistance vs. Inoue, who also won titles at 108 and 115.
“My goal is to become an anonymous hero,” says Inoue, No. 1 bantamweight. “If I could do that within 2022, I would love to stay in the team. But if I can’t, I can promote my team. [to 122 pounds]. “
The victory over Paul Butler of England, who has a fourth header at 118 pounds, has completed Inoue’s career. At 122 pounds, matchups and joint experts Stephen Fulton and Murodjon Akhmadaliev are waiting.
Donaire, on the other hand, may be out of the game. He turns 40 in November and his legacy is protected. Donaire won his first title in 2007 when he scored VIC Darchinyan who won 112 pounds. Donaire won 118 titles with 122 pounds.
He competed in the 126-pound race, but after defeating Carl Frampton in 2018, Donaire came back surprisingly at 118 pounds and reclaimed the title.
But now, his competition with Inoue is over, and maybe even his career. Donaire is the only boxer to try Inoue, who has no partner at 118 pounds or more.