Naoya Inoue unifies Bantamweight titles in War with Nonito Donaire!
In the months leading up to this WBSS Bantamweight final between Japanese phenom/top pound for pound fighter Naoya “Monster” Inoue and former four division world champion/future Hall Of Fame inductee Nonito “ The Filipino Flash” Donaire was the consensus of Inoue winning an early devastating knockout.
What was known heading into this fight was that both men possessed fight ending knockout power, so the possibility of a knockout was high.
However, when the bell rang we got what most didn’t expect a tightly contested firefight.
In the opening round both Inoue and Donaire came behind their jabs. Immediately it was evident that Inoue was looking to light his elder counterpart up with hard right hands and left hooks as he would flash his powerful combinations in the second half of the opening stanza.
Alternately, it was Donaire who was coming forward pushing the naturally smaller Inoue back while trying to establish a rhythm that would benefit him. Things started to sizzle in rounds 2 and 3 as Inoue would start to land some bone crushing shots!
Not fazed, Donaire would keep stalking his younger counterpart, landing his own hard shots and establishing that this wasn’t going to be one of those easy nights for Inoue. Round 2 stood out as a left hook by Donaire would open up a cut over the right eye of Inoue.
By this time both fighters were cooking! Donaire was varying his attack tremendously as he would get the respect of his opponent. However, that didn’t deter the Japanese phenom as he continued to flash tremendous hand speed and power easily touching his opponent.
Round 6 was huge for Inoue as he hurt Donaire with a big right hand. At that moment it appeared as if the end was near for The Filipino Flash!
However, in round 8 Donaire would turn the clock back and absolutely pour it on as he would shake the Japanese fighter with repeated hard right hands.
By round 9, fans were witnessing something we simply didn’t expect! An absolute WAR!
Two right hands by Donaire hurt Inoue badly as he attempted to hold on. Showing true grit, the IBF champion survived the round and would reverse momentum heading down the home stretch.
In round 11, Inoue landed a vicious left hook to the body of Donaire that immediately hurt the elder statesmen, causing him to run away and eventually take a knee.
By round 12 the fight was pretty much in the books for Inoue, although, that didn’t stop both men from closing out the fight with a bang, as both men would continue to stand and trade big shots!
BECOMING THE UNIFIED CHAMPION
In the end, Inoue would be the winner via unanimous decision to unify the WBA and IBF bantamweight titles and win the Muhammad Ali trophy. The final scorecards read 116-111, 117-109 and 114-113.
The new unified champion is expected to sign a lucrative contract with Top Rank next as that deal was contingent upon him winning this fight.
Meanwhile, if this is Donaire’s last fight, he sure went out with a bang and should have already cemented himself with a bid to the Hall of Fame!
By: Jerrell Fletcher