Donaire-Inoue rematch soon?

Published June 18, 2021, 10:04 PM

by Carlo Anolin

A rematch between bantamweight champions Nonito Donaire and Naoya Inoue is most likely to happen, given the eagerness both boxers have expressed in early interviews.

But all is obviously well between the two as they share a light moment together during a chance meeting at Inoue and Michael Dasmariñas’ press conference on Friday (Manila time).

Unified super WBA and IBF bantamweight champion Naoya Inoue and WBC king Nonito Donaire share a light moment during a chance meeting at the press conference of Inoue and Michael Dasmariñas on Friday (Manila time). (Screenshot from Top Rank)

Top Rank posted a video on social media where Donaire and Inoue were seen fist-bumping and posing for a photo opportunity as well.

The Japanese “Monster” also showed his humorous side by seemingly “stealing” the WBC belt from Donaire, but the Filipino four-division world champion wouldn’t agree.

With laughter all over the room, the 38-year-old Donaire answered “yes” many times if he’s in for a rematch with Inoue.

Donaire and Inoue fought in November 2019 in a mega-unification bout that earned the Fight of the Year honor.

Inoue emerged victorious with a unanimous decision win over Donaire to capture the super WBA bantamweight belt and defend his IBF title.

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

The 28-year-old Inoue secured his belts anew after a knockout win over Jason Moloney last October to remain unbeaten in 20 matches with 17 knockouts.

Inoue, however, needs to finish unfinished business for now against Dasmariñas on Sunday (Manila time) at the Virgins Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada.

READ: Arum on Inoue-Dasmariñas: Fists will be flying, Michael Dasmariñas out to prove worth vs ‘Monster’ Inoue

Donaire, for his part, became the newly-crowned WBC bantamweight champion after stunning Frenchman Nordine Oubaali in late May.

READ: Inoue praises Donaire for vintage showing vs Oubaali, Who is next for the ‘Filipino Flash’?