Naoya Inoue Completely Demolishes Nonito Donaire In Rematch!

Naoya Inoue Is One Belt Away From Becoming An Undisputed Champion!

Naoya Inoue admiring his work against Nonito Donaire
Naoya Inoue beating Nonito Donaire. (Images to the right | Credit: AFP/Getty Images)

Naoya Inoue Living Up to His “Monster” Nickname By Destroying Donaire

At the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan, you had the highly anticipated rematch between unified bantamweight champion Naoya “Monster” Inoue (23-0, 20 KOs) squared off against WBC champ Nonito “Filipino Flash” Donaire (42-7, 28 KOs) in a bantamweight title unification.

In their previous battle at the same venue, then-IBF champion Inoue took the WBA strap from Donaire by a hard-fought unanimous decision in the finals of the WBSS bantamweight tournament. It was the most challenging fight of Inoue’s career up to that point. He was hurt for the first time as a pro and suffered a fractured orbital bone around his right eye. Donaire put on a heck of a fight but didn’t have enough to overcome the Japanese superstar.

The Filipino Flash rebounded strongly from that setback, destroying Nordine Oubaali in four rounds to win the WBC crown in May 2021. He followed that up with another fourth-round stoppage win over mandatory Reymart Gaballo in August 2021.

Inoue continued to roll with stoppage wins over Jason Moloney, Michael Dasmarinas, and Aran Dipaen.

Inoue-Donaire II was more than a unification between two multi-divisional world champions that are considered the best fighters at 118 and among the elite in the smaller-weight divisions. It was a battle of future Hall of Fame inductees in the minds of many pundits.


Both men were understandably cautious early; picking their shots but landing some good ones in the process. However, with fifteen seconds to go in the opening round, Inoue put Donaire down with a perfectly timed straight right hand to the chin. Luckily for Donaire, this happened late in the round, or he probably would have been stopped before he could reach the second round!

Inoue saw wounded prey and came in attack mode at the start of the second round. He bombed power shot after power shot on Donaire before a final succession of blows culminated by a right hand and left hook to the head put the WBC champ down and out eighty-four seconds into round two!

Coming off their first fight in which Inoue had his share of shaky moments, for him to take Donaire out with such ease this time around is highly impressive. This means he really studied their first bout and made the necessary adjustments to his game-plan to exploit Donaire’s weaknesses.

With the win, Inoue is one step closer to achieving his goal of becoming undisputed champion at 118. He would need to lure newly crowned WBO champion Paul Butler into the ring to do so. Also, Inoue has mentioned a move to super bantamweight where mouth-watering match-ups against unified champions Murodjon Ahkmadaliev and Stephen Fulton await!

As for Donaire, this may be the beginning of the end. Yes, he came into this rematch as a champion, but at age 39 and getting destroyed in this fashion, it may be time for him to start thinking about calling it a career.

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By: Michael Wilson Jr.

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About Mike W.1996 Articles
Mike is the host of boxing podcast "Pound 4 Pound Boxing Report" and is a Senior Writer for