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DONAIRE ARRIVES IN JAPAN


PhilBoxing.com




WBC bantamweight champion Nonito Donaire Jnr of the Philippines has arrived in Japan Tuesday ahead of his mouth-watering rematch with WBA/IBF champion Naoya Inoue on June 7 at the Super Arena in Saitama, Japan, the same venue where the two stars engaged in an unforgettable combat on Nov. 7, 2019 for the World Boxing Super Series (WBSS) finale that later was voted as 2019 fight of the year.

The undefeated Inoue (22-0, 19KOs) has since fought Jason Moloney of Australia, Michael Dasmarinas of the Philippines and Aran Dipaen of Thailand to keep his belts. Donaire (46-6-0, 28KOs) meanwhile captured the WBC title from Frenchman Nordine Oubaali on May 29, 2021 and later defended it successfully against compatriot Reymart Gaballo last December.

The call for the rematch was loud and just natural for the two protagonists as their first fight was a barn burner where Inoue was stretched to his limits and was rocked by Donaire several times during the fight and specially in the 9th canto where the Japanese almost went down. Inoue dug deep and scored a knockdown in the 11th round with a wicked shot to the liver that sent Donaire grimacing in pain in the canvas. Inoue sustained a cut on his right eye brow early in the fight and was later diagnosed with fractures on his eye socket.

Inoue who at 29 years is still in his prime, will be facing a 39-year-old rival in Donaire who has yet to show signs that father time has caught up with him with two stunning knockout victories in his last two fights.

Donaire has come to Japan to prove a point. “If Naoya thinks, Donaire is same as in our first encounter, that’s wrong. I’m quite different as I can punch him from any angle in any position now. My skills and motivation have improved a lot. You’ll see,” Donaire told Fight News upon his arrival.

Let's circle the date - June 7 - and expect to see another classic of a fight between these two great fighters of our era.


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