BOXING: Nonito Donaire Jr., Naoya Inoue make weight for world title showdown
ABS-CBN Sports on Nov 06, 2019 04:56 PM
(Photo courtesy of worldboxingsuperseries.com)
Filipino boxing icon Nonito "The Filipino Flash" Donaire Jr. and Japanese boxing prodigy Naoya "The Monster" Inoue both successfully made weight for their upcoming World Boxing Super Series Bantamweight Tournament Finals, Thursday evening at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan.
The two hard-hitting bantamweights will do battle, not only for the prestigious Ali Trophy, but also for Donaire's WBA (Super) Bantamweight World Championship and Inoue's IBF and The Ring Magazine Bantamweight World Championships.
Donaire (40-5, 26 KO), came in at 117.5-pounds. The 36-year old Pinoy who hails from Talibon, Bohol defeated Ryan Burnett and Stephon Young on his way to the tournament finale.
One of just three Filipinos to capture four world championships in as many weight divisions, Donaire is enjoying somwehat a career resurgence and finds himself with on opportunity to take down one of the biggest names in the bantamweight division today.
“It’s very special to me,” Donaire said via WorldBoxingSuperSeries.com. “It’s for the Muhammad Ali Trophy. It’s the best of the best. Everything a fighter wants to want is to become the best of the best. I’ve been through it all and this is for me another step towards becoming undisputed."
The undefeated Inoue, (18-0, 16 KO) tipped the scales at 118-pounds. The 26-year old knockout artist from Kanagawa needed just a combined three rounds to dismantle Juan Carlos Payano and Emmanuel Rodriguez to reach the tournament finale.
Currently ranked 4th on The Ring Magazine's pound-for-pound list, Inoue has become one of the bantamweight division's most feared fighters thanks to his undeniable knockout power. His last seven bouts never even made it past he halfway point of the match.
“We are going to show the greatest fight ever. A victory will be a very satisfying moment for me and it will be a very big step for a bright future," said Inoue.