Naoya Inoue Destroys Nonito Donaire With Second-Round Knockout

The unbeaten three-division champion from Japan, Naoya Inoue, produced another fight for the ages as he scored an astounding second round knockout on Nonito Donaire during their bantamweight title unification fight.

The pair faced off at the Saitama Super Arena, Japan, the same venue as their first fight, which was held back in 2019. Inoue won that fight by unanimous decision. Now after two-and-half years, he is once again victorious, but this time, in a much more definitive fashion.

Inoue lived up to his nickname, ‘the Monster’, as he showcased a masterful display of speed and footwork.

He managed to knock down Donaire in the first round, but he was saved by the bell after quickly getting back to his feet. However, he was immediately met with a barrage of Inoue’s left-hooks throughout the second round, before being met with a final shot that took him off his feet.

Despite quickly getting back up, immediately waved out by referee Michael Griffin, ending the fight at the 1:24 mark.

According to Compubox’s punch statistics, Inoue landed 42 of 85 punches (49%) throughout the fight, while Donaire only managed to land 16 of 71 for Donaire (23%).

“The last right straight, I didn’t know it was a right one but during the intermission, I saw the video and knew this was going to be the one [that stopped Donaire],” said Inoue. “This is magic for myself too. I put pressure on myself and did it.”

With this win, Inoue remains undefeated, extending his record to 23-0 (20KOs). He is also becoming closer to becoming the undisputed champion in the 118lb division. The WBO belt, held by England’s Paul Butler, is the only one left for Inoue to secure, and he has already made it clear his eyes are set on it.

“My dream is to be the undisputed champion,” he said. “If I can do that within 2022 then I will stay in this division. If I can’t, I am capable of moving up and fighting in a higher division.

“Thank you so much everybody for coming to the arena for the fight, thank you so much for everything.”

Prior to the fight, Inoue said he thinks a win should move him up to No. 1 in the pound-for-pound conversation, which some people are already talking about.

“Canelo’s defeat has made me strongly feel that I have to win impressively to become the best pound-for-pound,” Inoue told Boxing Scene.

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