Naoya Inoue vs. Nonito Donaire: Young Lion Versus the Seasoned Vet
When: Thursday, November 7
Where: Saitama Super Arena, Saitama, Japan
Network: DAZN and Fuji TV
Time: 5:00 AM ET
On November 7 at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan IBF/WBA world Bantamweight “Regular” champion Naoya Inoue (18-0, 16 KO’s) squares off against WBA Bantamweight world “Super” champion Nonito Donaire (40-5, 26 KO’s) in the finals of the WBSS Bantamweight Tournament.
This is a classic match-up of the young and hungry destroyer (Inoue) versus the seasoned veteran (Donaire). Both men can really punch. And because of that dynamic, not only will there be a high level of tension throughout, this fight has a great chance to end in explosive fashion.
His nickname is “Monster” and that’s exactly what the 26-year-old has been to his opponents throughout his career. Arguably the most explosive boxer in the sport, he packs unusual power for a man his size. Far from a one-trick pony however, the fighter from Yokohama, Japan is also fundamentally sound with excellent hand and foot speed.
Keys to Victory: Inoue
Engage this fight at a fast pace while staying disciplined. Inoue is younger and faster, so make the older Donaire work.
Use his speed advantage to land with shots. At the same time, stay sharp defensively to avoid any possible counter-punches. Knowing he is facing what may be the hardest hitting opponent of his career to date, Inoue cannot afford to be reckless and leave himself open.
Not the fighter he was during his prime, the man known as “The Filipino Flash” is still dangerous and competing at a high level. The 36-year-old Las Vegas resident has a ton of experience plus a left hook that not only can hurt you, but take you out.
Keys to Victory: Donaire
Taller and longer, use his height and reach advantages to create punching distance. It would behoove him to make this a slow-paced, thinking man’s contest.
A wise strategy to employ would be to establish the jab, draw Inoue into mistakes, and then counter. Lastly, find a way to find a home for the left hook.
There’s a has a chance of a slow start due to their mutual level of respect for one another. However, as the bout goes along, the combination of power, speed and youth from the Japanese superstar will prove to be too much. Inoue wins the WBSS Muhammad Ali Trophy by 8th round stoppage.
By: Michael Wilson Jr.