Inoue Knocks Out Donaire in Rematch: Calls for Title Unification Fight

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Tuesday morning, three years after their classic bout, unified bantamweight champion Naoya Inoue rematched his toughest fight of his career against WBC champion Nonito Donaire at the Saitama super arena in Japan.

Inoue (23-0, 20 KO) unified his WBA and IBF belts with Donaire’s WBC bantamweight titles after a thrilling knockout in the second round to lay claim for a pound for pound best in the world consideration.

Inoue Crushes Donaire to Retain Titles, Gains WBC Bantamweight Strap

The highly anticipated rematch could not be any more different for both fighters this time around. In 2019 when their first meeting took place, Inoue fought with a broken nose and a broken orbital bone to a decision victory against the surprisingly competitive veteran, Donaire.

Even though Donaire, 39, had a second wind of sorts in his career after that competitive loss to Inoue, the Filipino star looked every bit his age against the raw power of Inoue.

Inoue took Donaire’s power very well and was able to land a right hand of his own that dropped the former WBC champ in the first round.

As both men went to their respective corners, Inoue had all the confidence in the world. Knowing he had already hurt his opponent and feeling his power which had secured him three straight previous knockout victories, Inoue knew there was blood in the water. Inoue continued showcasing his punching power, wobbling Donaire with a sharp left hook in the second and continued to lay damage on him with right hands until another left hook stunned Donaire who was all but defeated at this point.

Inoue proceeded to land yet another left hook that made the referee call for the stoppage at 1:24 of the second round.

After the fight, Inoue expressed his desire to unify the division, which means a pending meeting with WBO title holder John Riel Casimero for an undisputed bantamweight title bout.

As for Nonito Donaire (42-7, 28 KO), the boxing legend has done everything he has set out to accomplish in his illustrious career, winning titles in four divisions and being a top pound-for-pound fighter nearly ten years ago. Not to mention, Donaire hit not one but two elite strides in his career, showing that age is but a number.

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