The highly anticipated rematch of the bantamweight World Boxing Super Series final goes down on Tuesday July 7th, as WBA and IBF world champion Naoya Inoue welcomes WBC world champion Nonito Donaire back to Japan for a huge unification bout.
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WBA regular champion at the time, Inoue blitzed his way to the final of the World Boxing Super Series in 2019, defeating Juan Carlos Payano in a round with a brutal knockout in the qurter finals. Inoue then went on to dispatch IBF world champion Emmanuel Rodriguez in two rounds.
Donaire was seen as a surprise entrant into the tournament, having campaigned at featherweight before the tournament. Donaire's quarter final opponent was WBA super champion Ryan Burnett, many wrote Donaire off in this bout, but he looked dangerous early. A freak back injury occurred for Burnett in the fourth round rendering him unable to continue, declaring Donaire the winner. Donaire's semi final was slated to be against WBO champion Zolani Tete. However, Tete withdrew from the bout, meaning Donaire faced Stephon Young as a replacement. Donaire rolled back the years and brutally stopped Young in six rounds.
The final was set, Inoue Vs Donaire in Japan. Inoue was heavy favourite coming in, but Donaire had ripped up the script on many occasions in the past.
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The pair put on an absolute classic and was deemed the Ring Magazine 2019 Fight of the year. Both men gave it everything as Donaire looked like he could handle the freakish power of Donaire, the pair engaged in many thrilling trade off's throughout. Inoue found a breakthrough in the 11th round, as a sickening body shot caused Donaire to run from Inoue and go down. Donaire beat the count and went on to complete the whole 12 rounds. Inoue was declared the winner via unaniomus decision as the two warriors embraced after an epic fight.
Following this, Inoue signed with Top Rank and has made three defences of his belt. Before these defences, Inoue had signed to fight WBO champion John Riel Casemiro but that bout fell through due to the pandemic. Inoue stopped Jason Moloney in seven rounds in his first defence, before stopping Michael Dasmarinas in three rounds as his second defence. Last time out, Inoue stopped Aran Dipaen in eight rounds to make the third defence of his titles.
Donaire impressed so much in his bout with Inoue, and was recognised by the WBC who opted to mandate him to fight champion Nordine Oubaali for the world title.
Donaire rolled back the years and showed his class. The first two rounds were close, but then Donaire came into his own in the third as he floored Oubaali twice. Donaire proceded to pick up where he left off as the bell rang for the fourth, as he unloaded on Oubaali, sending him crashing to the canvas yet again, prompting referee Jack Reiss to wave the bout off confirming Donaire a nine time world champion.
Donaire defended his title as he stopped Reymart Gaballo in four rounds to retain his world title, setting up the mouthwatering unification rematch with Inoue.
The Inoue Vs Donaire rematch will be streamed live on Top Rank's YouTube channel for UK viewers, with the stream starting at 10:30am. This bout is one not to be missed, as the first was a fight for the ages!