Inoue praises Donaire for vintage showing vs Oubaali

Published June 16, 2021, 3:51 PM

by Carlo Anolin

Japanese “Monster” Naoya Inoue cannot help but laud Nonito Donaire, now the WBC bantamweight champion, after showing a vintage performance against Nordine Oubaali two weeks ago.

In this file photo, Naoya Inoue (left) and Nonito Donaire exchange punches during their mega-bout in November 2019 that earned the Fight of the Year honor. (Photo from World Boxing Super Series)

Inoue, who is set to defend his super WBA and IBF bantamweight titles against Filipino Michael Dasmarinas this Sunday (Manila time) in Las Vegas, still finds himself praising Donaire despite fight night nearing the calendar.

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“I have to give Nonito Donaire credit, his ability to avoid declining and continue to excel at this stage of his career is very impressive,” Inoue told “He had a great performance and it was great to see him fight like that against another world champion. It shows all of the hard work he continues to put in so that he can remain at this level.”

Earlier, Inoue seemed to look past his current opponent Dasmarinas (30-2, 20 KOs) by looking forward to a rematch with Donaire or another matchup with WBO bantamweight king John Riel Casimero.

The 28-year-old Japanese superstar said his motivation heading into the bout against Dasmarinas was his goal to unify all four world titles.

READ: Inoue’s motivation? To face Casimero and Donaire soon

And to do so, he has to beat the likes of Donaire and Casimero as well as his current mission to defend the super WBA and IBF belts against Dasmarinas.

Inoue’s comments just proved that he isn’t about to underestimate the two Filipino boxers should these matches materialize soon.

As far as their history is concerned, Inoue defeated Donaire after scoring a unanimous decision win in their mega-bout that eventually earned the Fight of the year award in November 2019 at the Super Arena in Saitama, Japan.

Inoue followed up his victory with another knockout win against Jason Moloney in October 2020 to remain undefeated in 20 matches on top of 17 knockouts.

The Japanese champion called out Casimero after the match but it didn’t come to fruition as the Filipino boxer would settle for regular WBA bantamweight titleholder Guillermo Rigondeaux.

READ: Who is next for the ‘Filipino Flash’?