Naoya Inoue defeats Donaire, wins WBSS 118lb final

By Joe Koizumi

Unbeaten Japanese prodigy Naoya Inoue (19-0, 16 KOs) defeated five-time champ Nonito “Filipino Flash” Donaire by a unanimous decision (117-109, 116-111, 114-113) over twelve hard-fought rounds, won the WBSS bantamweight final and unified the WBA/IBF belts before a well-packed crowd of more than 20,000 on Thursday at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan.
Donaire Inoue
“Monster” Inoue dropped Donaire with a vicious body shot midway in the eleventh, but failed to finish the affair due to Nonito’s determination and durability. It was a good fight.

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  • Never had been so satisfying for me to be wrong in a prediction and the evaluation of the contestants than this time. A sure hall of fame entrant named Nonito Donaire stood there as a man, as a true legend and delivered the best performance of his decorated boxing career.
    A FOY performance for a boxer that at the end of his glorious boxing career, had, as an ATG one more great fight to offer.
    Great night for you Nonito, with all my respects

  • I hadn’t realized the Inoue-Donaire fight started early-morning here on the East Coast of the U.S., but I did catch rounds 9-12 on DAZN, and what exciting rounds they were! Looked like Donaire had a fleeting chance to stop Inoue in the 9th, but then Inoue really took over in the 10th. Donaire was on the deck and all but out in the 11th, courtesy of a left-hook body-shot; Inoue pressed the action and tried to stop Donaire, until one of Nonito’s powerful left-hooks caught Inoue on the way in and stopped his momentum. 12th round was Inoue’s save for a desperate, last-ditch effort by Donaire to land something huge. Wish I had seen the entire fight! Must go back to rewatch. By the way, I’m new to DAZN (just signed-up last Saturday for the Canelo-Kovalev bout) and I think it is fantastic: two great bouts in a week, beautiful presentation and quality picture, good announcers, and nicely organized website. Give it a try… can sign-up for a month and cancel at any time. I did, and I couldn’t be happier.

  • What a great fight and a close one for sure. I had it 114-113 for Nonito I just thought he did enough to win the decision but it was close and I figured he needed a knockout to pull it out with the judges who turned out obviously be on crack.

  • Very close fight! Very good fight! There was life in the old dog, and the two wide scores were outrageous, but he did just pip it for me.

  • The score 117- 109 is wrong completely. It doesn’t reflect what happened because is 9 rounds to 3, omitting the knockdown. 117- 108 is with the knockdown. A more decent score should have been 115 to 112 (5 to 7 with one 10-8) just an opinion

    • It’s actually not a bad score in my opinion. Donaire was so competitive and did awesome. But He really only won, 2, 8, 9 clearly. Donaire missed a lot. And lost most exchanges.

  • On this performance, Tete, Oubali and definitely Nery (if he doesn`t get ban for Mex-meat) gives inoue a run for his money. Nery might just be too powerful for him.

    • Maybe you’re right Julian. I always said Nery is the only one to have a chance against Inoue at 118, but if he can deal with Inoue’s power. Nonito for some how did. He took hellacious head shots that others went down with less, like McDonnell and Payano. Nonito absorbed heavy body shots too, also the same or worse than the ones Narvaez and Rodriguez couldn’t deal with it.
      IMO this fight is a lot deceiving to measure others chances against Inoue, but will help to define how to fight him in the future.

    • Well, (if he doesn’t get ban for mex-meat) is a big IF and a factor. Nery’s only good performance that made him look like a killer was when he was juicing. Nery is all hype and is tailor made for Inoue. Tete isn’t a threat either IMO and is a bit long in the tooth. Oubali couldn’t stop Naoya’s little brother, so he hasn’t the power to hurt ‘the monster’. I feel Inoue dealt with the next most dangerous guy at 118 already last night, so his real threat lies at 122 in Navarette.

  • Yeah I know it was a good fight, but I always found it hard to get excited by tiny little dudes, smaller than children getting it on.

  • Fantastic fight! I didn’t expect Donaire, the bigger man who has faced big punchers in the higher weight classes, to be knocked out. He has always shown a great chin and amazing recuperative powers. However, I certainly didn’t expect him to be as quick as he was. I expected Inoue to be quicker and more mobile and that he was. However, Donaire gave a great account of himself.

    Inoue was tested and hurt badly in the fight but came roaring back and won a clear but close decision. What I’m not clear about is why Inoue waited till late in the fight to go to the body. When your opponent absorbs all your punches to the head, mix up the attack with body shots to soften him up. The body shots he hit Rodriguez with were hellacious in that abbreviated fight. He should have done the same to Donaire.

    On the other hand, I’m glad Inoue was fully tested and faced adversity with a cut while facing a man who could take his punches and dish it back. He was able to show how great he was by overcoming and winning a tough battle. It’s the best fight I’ve watched this year and should be a leading candidate for “Fight of the Year.”

    • Inoue tried Duenas, first with hard jabs to the stomach and sometimes hard shots to the midsection, but Donaire discouraged him with his response. It was hard to get Donaire there, almost like Canelo with Kovalev.

  • Read about it. I wish I would have viewed it. Heard it was a goody. I thought the young bull would blow him out. However the O.G hung tuff. You gotta love it.

  • Great fight. Monster cant take a shot. Donaire hit him flush a few times. Good show from Donaire. Time to sit down though.

  • Fight of the year hands down. Donaire proved he’s a stud and a legend with that performance. Inoue showed guys and outstanding boxing ability outside his power. This made my morning.

  • Great fight, if not fight of the year at least! Donaire took so much punishment, inoue was bloodied tested and just kept going and going like an energizer bunny!!!!!! As per donaire, i hope he hangs it after this fight….no need to expose health with the young hungry lions in that divisions.

  • For those of you that said Donaire had nothing left, and was basically a shot fighter, well what say you now? Donaire showed without a doubt that is still has enough in him to hurt and cut up the top guy in that division. So much so that I would not say anything if they called it a draw at the end of the day. Inoue who decided that he might not be ahead in the scorecards, did a kamikaze job in the last rounds. I think that the ref reached the 10 count in the 11th round but did not call the fight?? Which I don’t understand why? Inoue most certainly made his claim to be called the winner in this fight. I’d love to see a rematch. Donaire might not be what he was in his prime, but he certainly has enough skills to fight and beat most guys in that division. As for the MONSTER he has been in the talk of the the top P4P for awhile now, and he will I.M.O only get better, man this kid has crack on his shots.

  • yeah,yeah,yeah.these posts about the freak of nature,the real deal inoue will trash,brutally ko in a couple of rds a washed out donaire is laughable.and now praising donaire a true great champ is pathetic.this only proves that as of now inoue is an overrated p4p boxer.rigo and a bantam pacquiao can easily beat him.stop the hype for now.

  • Any hope to see Inoue facing Luis Nery has vanished with the signing of Inoue in a promotional deal with Top Rank. He might be in route to have the same fate of Erwing Ancajas, Zurdo Ramirez, Carlos Ramirez, Crawford and some others under Top Rank. Only Lomachenko and Beterbiev still ok.

    • Are you sure that Monster is done with DANZ? If that’s true then will somebody please put a pillow over Bob Arum’s face when he sleeps tonight. He won’t die of natural causes because he knows he has to meet the devil when he goes, so his riches are prolonging it.

  • Damn good fight between two elite level power hitters! Donaire rolled back the clock a bit and his size and experience gave ‘monster’ hell at times. But, Inoue’s consistent hard jab kept him in control for most of the fight. Inoue told us 2 things we had not known about him before tonight. 1. He has a chin
    2. 118 is as high as he should go. Donaire looked much bigger
    than Inoue tonight and the flash’s range kept Inoue from really getting in too close to land his crunchy fight ending shots. Donaire was for the most part able to take the monsters shots, but never really had Inoue in trouble in return. Inoue didn’t elevate himself to p4p #1on my list with this fight, but
    he did hold his spot as the #2. Crawford nor Canelo have this kids overall repertoire.

    • Let me guess… Number one is some light skinned fighter? 😉

      Canelo easily achieved more than loma and looks a lot more menacing in the ring nowadays. Crawford would beat loma up. Even pacman at this stage would.

  • Were are all the haters now ?! All the ones saying Inoue was overrated and that Donaire would knock him out ?! You really don’t know shit.. It happens sometimes in boxing to make the wrong prediction but honestly in this one i just couldn’t imagine any way for Donaire to win this one..

    • To those people’s credit he did almost KO him. Neither side of Inoue’s backers or Donaire backers lost this fight. It was awesome! People that hated in Donaire almost had it right. He looked dead in the water in rounds 6-7. Then had one if the best comeback rounds in recent fights. Ruiz had the best comeback round this year.

      • inoue definitely is one to watch in boxing.but the problem is people tend to give way too much credit with his accomplishments as of now.he got solid wins with the most notable is against a 39 yr old narvaez.he never fought the lineal flyweight champ gonzales or the other flyweight top dogs like estrada,cuadras,rongvisai back then.many times inoue hurt his hands and that is the reason he is fast tracking his upward movement in weight class or he will lose his edge in power.if he wants to be one of greats he should defeat the lineal champs just like pacquiao and mayweather did.

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