Naoya Inoue (23-0, 20 KOs) produced a cold-hearted and ruthless performance to destroy Nonito Donaire during their rematch today in Saitama, Japan.
After a 12-round fight of the year contender three years ago Inoue was in no mood to be taken anywhere near that distance.
The WBA and IBF bantamweight champion walked to the ring with a killer expression on his face.
And when his opponent began to enter inside the arena ‘Monster’ began punching his jaw. A punch hadn’t been thrown but the night looked ominous for the legendary Filipino.
Drama In Saitama 2 kicked off with Donaire (42-7, 28 KOs) coming out hot with his famed left hook which woke up Inoue. The 39-year-old continued his positive start aiming for the body of Inoue who returned fire with a left hand. The Japanese superstar hadn’t found his range and while the fight was only a minute old Donaire had to use that as something to build on such is the assassin like qualities of someone like Inoue.
However, Donaire was soon locked in the crosshairs and ate a left hand over the top. A heavy right hand dropped down like a hammer then Inoue mixed it with the jab to head and body. The first round wasn’t over, but backers of an early finish must have felt confident. Donaire wasn’t in town to be used as a punching bag though and played his own part in an exchange which brought the fight to the boil.
Then with under ten seconds left in the opening frame Inoue threw a straight right hand which turned Donaire’s face and dropped him to the canvas. The veteran beat the count and as he returned to his feet, the sight of the menacing Inoue ready to finish the job wasn’t far away but the bell came to the rescue.
Donaire may have started round one fast, but Inoue had already put the foot down as soon as he got up from his stool to begin the second. A left hook kicked off a pile of unrelenting pressure that had Donaire nowhere to go.
The away fighter tried to smother Inoue and work on the inside but as soon as some space became free it became a countdown to the end. A three-punch combination jolted Donaire who bravely fought with what spirit remained. A short-left hook then had the multi-weight world champion wobbled. Inoue knew it was over and all he had to do was put his prey out of his misery. He needed no second invitation. A right hand then another left hook put Donaire down and out at 1.24 of round two.
You can watch the final moments below, courtesy of Top Rank Boxing:
— Top Rank Boxing (@trboxing) June 7, 2022
It was devastating, chilling and a message to his rivals at 118lbs and maybe even at 122lbs. This was Inoue at his power punching best. On this form he is unstoppable.