Donaire tries to slay 'Monster' Inoue in world series title duel
MANILA, Philippines – An aging warrior having a second wind in a sterling career against a punisher puncher at the peak of his powers.
Turning 37 in a few days, Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire will battle 26-year-old Naoya “Monster” Inoue on Thursday, November 7 in the World Boxing Super Series bantamweight final at the sold-out 20,000-seat Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan.
On paper, Inoue sows fear as his moniker implies. The unbeaten sensation has knocked out 16 of his victims and needed only a total of 7 minutes and 21 seconds to dispose of his last 3 opponents.
No wonder, oddsmakers and ring pundits have installed the Japanese, a three-division world titlist, the huge favorite over the 2012 Fighter of the Year, four-division world champion and future Hall of Famer with a 40-5, 26 knockouts, record.
Some bookies installed Inoue a -1000 pick over Donaire +550, while a poll conducted by The Ring saw 23 of 25 respondents choose the Japanese to snare the Muhammad Ali trophy that goes with the International Boxing Federation and the World Boxing Association unified 118-pound crowns.
Donaire relishes the underdog tag, saying it gives him the motivation to add another chapter to his 18-year pro career spiked by a 2007 Knockout of the Year and Upset of the Year over Armenian Vic Darchinyan and 2012 Fighter of the Year award.
Inoue, an inch shorter at 5-foot-5, was right at the limit while Donaire checked in a bit lighter at 117.5 during the official weigh-in on Wednesday, indicating their preparedness to inflict damage on each other.
Fact is, Inoue even took in notable Filipino fighters Albert Pagara (31-1, 23 KOs) and Genesis Servania (33-2, 16 KOs) as sparmates in his training at Ohashi Boxing Gym in Yokohama City.
Donaire, on the other hand, sparred with World Boxing Council Asia Pacific bantamweight champion Jun Blazo (14-6, 10 KOs) and super featherweight Glenn Madura, whom he knocked down in the 8th round at UFC Gym in Alabang.
Having shared the ring with both fighters, Pagara noted their punches have different impact. The speedy delivery adds sting to Inoue’s while Donaire’s were naturally heavy.
Respecting Donaire’s counterpunching ability and deadly left hook, Inoue told the Japanese media he won’t be aiming for a quick knockout, but would try to break down Donaire systematically in every round.
With 277 rounds behind him, Donaire holds a major edge in experience over Inoue (95 rounds). Whether he can weather the Japanese’s flurries remain to be seen, however. – Rappler.com