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THE MONSTER WILL FIGHT THE FILIPINO FLASH FOR THE WBSS BANTAMWEIGHT FINAL ON NOVEMBER 7 IN JAPAN

By Maloney L. Samaco
PhilBoxing.com
10 Aug 2019




Japan's top pound-for-pound boxer "Monster" Naoya Inoue (18-0, 16 KOs) and "The Filipino Flash" Nonito Donaire (40-5, 26 KOs) will collide for the World Boxing Super Series bantamweight final at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan on November 7. The 2018–19 WBSS features eight top-rated bantamweight boxers in a single-elimination tournament. The tournament was organized by Comosa AG.

They will vie for the Muhammad Ali Trophy and "the best production in boxing arrive in the Land of the Rising Sun for a huge spectacle” according to Kalle Sauerland, Comosa’s chief boxing officer. “Two bonafide superstars are going to find out who is the very best in the division and bring home the Ali Trophy."

Inoue has shown to the boxing world why he is called the "Monster" and is a "freak of nature" so powerful that his flurry is considered to be "from another planet". He will clash with the legendary Donaire, who scored one of the greatest knockouts of the year in the semi-final bout, and seems to be "as strong as ever in the twilight of his career."

The 26-year-old Inoue is the first Japanese to appear in The Ring cover since the magazine was first published in 1922. His biggest test in his career is Donaire's power even at age 36.

“I can’t wait for the final,” said Inoue. “Donaire is to me a legend in the sport of boxing, and I am honored to be sharing the ring with him in the final. But I will do my very best to win against the legend to claim the Ali trophy.”

At The SSE Hydro in Glasgow, Scotland on November 3, 2018, Donaire faced top seeded Irishman Ryan Burnett in the quarter final fight. Burnett was ahead in the first two rounds as Donaire reversed the third and connected a left-hook to the body of his foe. In the fourth round Burnett reached for his lower back after throwing a combination of punches as he took a knee which was counted as a knock down for Donaire. Burnett failed to answer the bell for round five due to the injury. Donaire moves on to the semifinals of the WBSS and will face WBO bantamweight champ Zolani Tete of South Africa.

On April 27, 2019, Donaire faced No. 5 WBA contender Stephon Young, a last-minute replacement for Tete, who had to withdraw from the WBSS semi-final due to a shoulder injury. At the fight held at the Cajundome in Lafayette, Louisiana, Donaire used his jabs to outscore Young and in the sixth round he threw a counter-left hook that found its way on Young's jaw, knocking out the American challenger.

“I am looking forward to the final in Japan and a great fight,“ said Donaire. He added he had fought several world champions, and will climb the ring well prepared. "Inoue is an amazing fighter, but I saw flaws in his semi-final, and I think I can definitely create a game plan against him and win the Ali Trophy.”

Inoue is nicknamed "The Monster" for his destructive punching prowess and ferocious body attack. He was ranked as the world's best junior-bantamweight by The Ring and the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board, and No. 2 by BoxRec. Then he moved up to a higher weight and is now ranked as the world’s top bantamweight by the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board, and No. 2 by BoxRec.

He is also ranked as the world's No. 6 pound for pound by The Ring, No. 5 by the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board, and No. 7 by the Boxing Writers Association of America & ESPN.

Inoue took only 7 minutes and 22 seconds total time to wipe out his last three opponents, including Jamie McDonnell of Great Britain in 1:52 of the first round, Juan Carlos Payano of Dominican Republic’s in 1:10 also of the first round, and Emmanuel Rodriguez of Puerto Rico in 1:20 of the second round. When the three deadly fighters climbed the ring to face Inoue, McDonnell was 29-3-1, Payano was 20-2, while Rodriguez was 19-1.

Inoue fought 13 world title fights in his 18 pro career matches as he won his first world title belt, the WBC lightflyweight title in only his sixth fight. In only his eighth fight, he added the WBO junior bantamweight crown. He became a three-division world champion and currently the unified bantamweight world champion, with the WBA, IBF and The Ring titles.

Donaire has held several world titles in four weight classes, the WBA (Super) bantamweight title, the IBF flyweight title, the unified WBC and WBO bantamweight titles, the IBF super bantamweight title, the WBO super bantamweight title twice, and the WBA (Super) featherweight title.

In total, Donaire has held eight world titles by the main four boxing sanctioning bodies, as well as the IBO flyweight title, the WBA interim super flyweight title and The Ring and lineal super bantamweight titles.


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