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Japan’s Little Monster, Naoya Inoue, Crushes Donaire

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  • Japan’s Little Monster, Naoya Inoue, Crushes Donaire

    The first fight between Naoya Inoue and Nonito Donaire was a humdinger. Inoue won a unanimous decision but took a lot of punishment including a broken orbital bone. Staged on Nov. 7, 2019, the match was the consensus Fight of the Year.

    Flash forward 31 months to the rematch and it’s an entirely different story. At Super Arena in Saitama, Japan, Inoue, 29, lived up to his nickname, “Monster,” demolishing his 39-year-old Filipino rival inside two rounds. Referee Michael Griffin halted the massacre at the 1:24 mark of round two.

    Inoue decked Donaire late in the opening stanza with a short right hand. He finished him off with a right-left combination. That earned Inoue (23-0, 20 KOs) the WBC world bantamweight title belt to go along with his own WBA and IBF diadems.

    Heading in, Donaire (48-7) had answered the bell for 297 rounds and been stopped only once, that coming in 2014 in a featherweight contest with Nicholas Walters that ended in the sixth frame. After that mishap, he dropped back down in weight and launched new title reigns at 122 and 118.

    After today’s rout, Inoue expressed an interest in unifying the bantamweight title before moving on to a higher weight class. The WBO belt is owned by England’s 33-year-old Paul Butler (33-2) who was elevated from the interim champion to the full champion after winning a unanimous decision over Jonas Sultan (18-5 heading in), a late sub for defrocked John Riel Casimero.

    “The Monster” would be massive favorite over Paul Butler no matter where the bout was held.

    For the record, only one Japanese fighter from the modern era has been enshrined in the International Boxing Hall of Fame, that being former bantamweight champion Masahiko “Fighting” Harada who twice defeated the great Eder Jofre. Regardless of what Naoya Inoue accomplishes going forward, there’s a plaque waiting for him in Canastota.
    Last edited by AcidArne; 06-07-2022, 02:06 PM.

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    • #3
      "My good pal and fellow writer and historian, Ted (The Bull) Sares, has always held Harada in very high esteem. Of the 100 best fighters he has seen down through the years, Ted ranks the little warrior from Tokyo 34th. Here are The Bull�s thoughts: �Along with Yoko Gushiken and Jiro Watanabe, Fighting Harada is one of the three greatest Japanese fighters of all time, but what sets him apart from the others is that he fought 62 times (55-7), an unusually high number for a retiring Japanese champion, who generally retire before their 30th fight." From the Mike Casey achives.


      • #4
        KB, thank you for pointing out that there is more than one Japanese fighter in the Hall of Fame. Fighting Harada was ushered in in 1995. Twenty years later, in 2015, the IBHOF made room for Yoko Gushiken and Masao Ohba.

        It's weird to find Gushiken and Ohba in the Old Timer category with such true old-timers as Abe Attell and Tommy Ryan.

        When the IBHOF was founded in 1990, the definition of an old-timer was "no fight later than 1942." In 2014, that was revised to "no fight later than 1988."

        That was quite a jump, muddling the "old time" and modern eras.

        The error has been corrected.


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