NAOYA INOUE, NONITO DONAIRE TO MEET IN WORLD BOXING SUPER SERIES FINAL IN NOVEMBER
Boxing’s past meets boxing’s future as IBF and WBA (regular) bantamweight champion Naoya Inoue takes on WBA (super) bantamweight champion Nonito Donaire in the World Boxing Super Series bantamweight final on Nov. 7. The fight takes place at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan, and will be shown live on DAZN.
The winner not only becomes the unified bantamweight champion, but also walks away with the Muhammad Ali trophy.
Inoue (18-8, 16 KOs) is regarded as one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world. The 26-year-old advanced to the semifinals by running through Juan Carlos Payano in 70 seconds back in October. Inoue further lived up to his nickname “The Monster” his last time out in May, notching a scintillating knockout over Emmanuel Rodriguez at the 1:19 mark of the second round to add the IBF belt to his collection.
Inoue knows the resume Donaire possesses and looks forward to sharing the ring with someone of his stature.
I can’t wait for the final. Donaire is to me a legend in the sport of boxing, and I am honoured to be sharing the ring with him in the final. But I will do my very best to win against the legend to claim the Ali trophy.”
Before the WBSS tournament, many boxing pundits felt Donaire’s (40-5, 26 KOs) best days were behind him. He was one of sport’s best after going 30-0 from June 2001-April 2013; he then went 7-3 in his next 10 fights, and retirement looked to be in his future. But “The Filipino Flash” found a new lease on life and perhaps his career in entering the WBSS event.
Donaire knocked off the top seed Ryan Burnett to capture the WBA belt in the first round and then scored a vicious sixth-round knockout of Stephon Young in the semifinal to move on and face Inoue. He knows what Inoue brings to the table, but Donaire plans on upsetting the apple cart and pulling out the victory.
“I am looking forward to the final in Japan and a great fight,“ Donaire said. “I have fought several world champions, and I will come well prepared. Inoue is an amazing fighter, but I saw flaws in his semifinal, and I think I can definitely create a game plan against him and win the Ali Trophy.”
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