By: Sean Crose
Naoya Inoue and Nonito Donaire are finally going to get it on in the ring again. With the WBA, IBF, and WBC bantamweight titles on the line the two men will meet for the second time on June 7th in Japan’s Saitama Super Arena. This, frankly, is one of the best matches in a 2022 that is already giving fans some good ones. Donaire had recently been considered yesterday’s news when the former titlist stepped into the ring with Inoue back in 2019. Inoue won the fight, as expected, but it was a war that is now viewed as a classic. In other words, Inoue found himself in a real fight that night. People were instantly, and obviously, looking for a rematch.
Both fighters have wanted a rematch themselves, though it’s taken a bit for this one to come together thanks to considerable issues stemming from things like the Covid pandemic. Still, each man has kept fighting since their 2019 bout. Last May Donaire reached icon status when the then 38 year old Filipino knocked out Nordine Oubaali in four for Oubaali’s WBC bantamweight strap. The man known as the “Filipino Flash” then moved on to knock out Reymart Gaballo (once again in four) last November.
As for Inoue, the fighter known as “The Monster” has proven himself to be a monster time and time again…and it’s been business as usual for the Japanese star since he managed to edge Donaire back in 2019. In October of 2020, Inoue knocked out Jason Moloney in seven. In June of last year Inoue knocked out Michael Dasmarinas in three before moving on to then stop Aran Diapen in eight last December. At just 28 years of age, the 20-0 Inoue has continued to impress, while the 42-6 Donaire has continued to pleasantly surprise as he pushes forty years of age. Again, this is a fight both the fans and fighters have wanted for some time – and with good reason.
Although there’s no news available at the moment about how Inoue-Donaire 2 will be broadcast stateside, there’s little to no doubt the fight will be available to US fans when the time comes. The first bout between the two men, which was the final match of the World Boxing Super Series Bantamweight Tournament, was aired live on the DAZN streaming service.
Inoue announced the rematch Wednesday over social media. “Expect a fight that goes beyond the previous match!!” he claimed. Here’s hoping.
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