Nonito Donaire: “I’m Definitely Going For Undisputed After I Beat Inoue”

Donaire's Motivation at an All-time High Heading into Inoue Rematch

Nonito Donaire targeting championship gold through Naoya Inoue and beyond
Nonito Donaire (L), Naoya Inoue | Credit: Naoki Fukuda/WBSS

Nonito Donaire Plans to Pursue Undisputed After Naoya Inoue Rematch


On June 7, reigning WBC bantamweight champ Nonito “Filipino Flash” Donaire (42-6, 28 KOs) gets his chance at redemption as he faces unified champion Naoya “Monster” Inoue (22-0, 19 KOs) in a 118-pound unification showdown at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan. It’s a rematch of a terrific battle that took place in the same venue in November 2019 in what was the finals of the WBSS bantamweight tournament.

Donaire fought valiantly, giving Inoue the most challenging fight of his career. But in the end, the “Monster” overcame a fractured eye socket to rally late and win by a unanimous decision. During an interview on The DAZN Boxing Show, Donaire explained what went wrong in his first battle with the Japanese superstar.

LEARNING FROM HIS MISTAKES

“Well, I came in there fighting. I came in there without the game plan; I came in there with just sheer guts. It was just more of me going in there and trying to bully the kid.

He came up pretty strong; he was tough. I didn’t expect that from him, and he can crack, too. One thing for me was I came in there with the mindset of fighting. This time, I’m coming in with everything.”

That seems to imply Donaire plans to do more boxing for this upcoming fight. He acknowledges the ability and heart of Inoue, claiming he is the toughest opponent of his career. But he left the ring that night feeling he would beat him if they ever fought again.

Part of that belief stems from an issue of the gloves. Donaire disclosed that in their first fight he fought with Winning gloves instead of his preferred Everlast boxing gloves. The Winning gloves have a reputation of being a more padded, protective glove, while Everlast is more of a puncher’s glove. The WBC champ said it’s not an issue for this fight; he will use the Everlast gloves.

ON A MISSION

Since their epic first encounter, Donaire obliterated the well-regarded Nordine Oubaali in four rounds to capture the WBC title in May 2021. He followed with a fourth-round stoppage over Reymart Gaballo in August 2021.

Many pundits believe the wily veteran is a future Hall of Famer. But before Donaire hangs up the gloves and rides off into the sunset, he still has one more goal he’d like to accomplish.

“When I do get past Inoue, and I don’t believe in the ‘if’, I don’t go in the ring thinking the ‘if’. So, when all is said and done, I’m definitely going for the undisputed; put all the belts together.”

It would be quite the feat for a fighter at this point in his career. He’s coming into the rematch with Inoue riding a wave of momentum. At age 39, the “Filipino Flash” seems to be fighting better than ever. Donaire relied mainly on his power, speed, and athleticism during his younger years. With age, experience, and wisdom, you see a more tactical and well-rounded fighter. Beating Inoue is a daunting task for sure. But as Donaire has proven repeatedly throughout his outstanding career, you can never count him out.

Reading Time: 3 minutes

By: Michael Wilson Jr.

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About Mike W.1991 Articles
Mike is the host of boxing podcast "Pound 4 Pound Boxing Report" and is a Senior Writer for 3kingsboxing.com.