Carl Frampton wouldn’t be at all surprised if Nonito Donaire got the better of Naoya Inoue on Tuesday.
The two bantamweights meet for a second time in Saitama, Japan after their titanic battle in 2019 which was voted the Boxing Writers Association of America Fight of the Year.
In victory Inoue walked out the ring as the unified (WBA, IBF) 118lbs champion and the winner of the Bantamweight World Boxing Super Series. However, the ‘Monster’ suffered eye fractures after Donaire gave him one of the toughest fights of his career.
Frampton, who beat Donaire in April 2018, was full of his praise for his old opponent’s Indian Summer, but the former two-weight world champion says his friend will have to endure tough moments against the powerful Inoue.
“Inoue is a great fighter and one of the keys for Nonito is to stay with him and be able to take a bit of punishment,” Frampton told Probellum.
“Inoue has got serious power, but Donaire has got a good chin and he has the ability to take shots and fire back.”
Donaire has won back-to-back fights since the defeat to Inoue. Knocking out Nordine Oubaali earned him the WBC Bantamweight title which was defended in further conclusive fashion against Reymart Gaballo last December.
Frampton described the 39-year-old as the ‘Benjamin Button of Boxing’ and says the upset is possible.
“I would not be surprised if there was a shock on the cards in Japan. From the first fight, if anyone is going to have learnt and made the adjustments, then it’s Nonito. He’s been around this game for a long, long time.
“It is going to be a cracking fight and it highlights the quality in the lower divisions.”