History will be on the line Thursday night in Japan, as up and coming IBF Bantamweight World Champion Naoya “The Monster” Inoue gets set to square off against veteran Nonito Donaire in the World Boxing Super Series finale.
The fighters met with the media for the final time Tuesday afternoon in Saitama, Japan and Inoue will have they decided home country advantage going for the unified championship 118 lbs. title.
Donaire, who’s from the Philippines and is 37 years old, will be the decided underdog in this one. Despite being 40 – 5 with 26 KOs, Donaire is fighting a younger, very talented hard-punching opponent.
Inoue, 18-0, 16 KOs, captured the IBF crown in May when he knocked out Emmanuel Rodriguez in just two rounds in Scotland to earn his place in the World boxing Super Series championship match.
Donaire meanwhile, knocked out Stephon Young in the sixth round of his semifinal in Lafayette, LA, to capture the WBA Bantamweight belt in April.
The fighters met with the Japanese and other international media mid-day Japanese time and Inoue showed respect for his elder fellow champion, Donaire. But, he is clearly expected to win easily and quickly Saturday night:
— World Boxing Super Series (@WBSuperSeries) November 5, 2019
Inoue has tremendous punching power in either hand and he will be bolstered by a sell-out crowd of some 20,000 at the Saitama Sports Arena Thursday
Interestingly, his younger brother, Takuma Inoue, will be fighting for the WBC version of the 118 lb title against France’s Nordine Oubaali on the undercard. The younger Inoue is 13-0, all by knockout and also, heavily favored to win.
Back to the main event. Just like Scotland’s Josh Taylor’s 12 round Super Welterweight unification victory over Regis Prograis two weeks ago in London, Inoue and Donaire are fighting for the biggest money for their careers.
They have been guaranteed purses for Saturday, but the winning fighter in the WBSS final match will receive over a $1 million bonus for having won the 8 fighter, 7 fight tournament.