Inoue: I think Donaire is a true champion

WBA/IBF bantamweight champion Naoya Inoue overcame a cut above his right eye in the second round and getting rocked for the first time in his career in the ninth round to claim a memorable points victory over the heroic Nonito Donaire on Thursday night to win the bantamweight edition of the World Boxing Super Series in Saitama, Japan.

Inoue Donaire Final04
Photo: Naoki Fukuda

“Donaire was a very, very strong opponent,” said Inoue afterward. “This is the first cut I have had in my career. I think Donaire is a true champion. Winning the Ali Trophy is the biggest thing so far in my career and I see a bright future in front of me. I am not the greatest of all time yet, but that is the goal.”

The Muhammad Ali Trophy was presented to Inoue by Japanese boxing legend Masahiko Harada better known as “Fighting Harada,” a former world champion in the flyweight and bantamweight divisions.

Inoue Donaire Final03
Photo: Naoki Fukuda
Inoue Donaire Final02
Photo: Naoki Fukuda
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Photo: Naoki Fukuda
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  • I was wrong about this fight and am glad. What a fight it was! Saw a 8th round stoppage and would have not been surprised if it ended earlier.

  • I think many fans are discouraged by the fact that the Monster didn’t blow out Donaire. It’s like they are forgetting that Donaire is no joke. Give both their due and maybe we’ll get to see a rematch.

    I see the Monster as a work in progress (a potentially GREAT work), but sometimes a fighter has so many natural gifts that their skills get stunted. He needed a fighter like Donaire to let him know that every fight won’t always be a cake walk. My guess is he learned more in this fight than his past 10.

    • true sir Donaire is a 4 weight division world champion waaaaaay past his prime which tells how great he is! in his prime Donaire would have crushed Inoue within 5 rds easy

    • Great post. I too believe that Inoue will take from this fight and grow. He needed to feel adversity and he handled it very well, but up until tonight he wasn’t learning as a fighter. He knows how to fight a bigger opponent who can hurt him, and deal with what all that entails. Inoue is in his prime now and he needs to take on these few good fighters left at 118 before moving up.

  • You’ll not see a single post from me anywhere predicting
    Inoue would blow out Donaire. Only mainstreamers make those kinds of ridiculous predictions because they are emotionally led and cannot think intelligently. I knew Donaire would come in the bigger man, and do what he’s done his entire career which is capitalize on his opponents mistakes. He’s always been a vaporizing counter puncher with light feet that can set in a millisecond. He showed he’s still 85% of what he was, but against the prodigy Inoue it needed to be 100%.
    Donaire is a 1st ballot HOF’er and a near ATG. Inoue needs to
    stay put at 118 or tread carefully into 122. He’s a small guy and it showed next to a larger Donaire today. I’m glad Nonito came out okay, but I hope it doesn’t lead him to believe that he shouldn’t retire. He’s established all he is going to or needs to,
    and I hope he’s earned enough to raise his little boy and be healthy. He’s a really good dude and comes from a solid upbringing like so many pinoy, and he’s gonna be alright.

  • great fight. donaire damn naire pulled it off. great fight donaire they had you down and out , I had you pulling it off. take care and god speed champ. im out.

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