Naoya ‘Monster’ Inoue will be fighting in November or December, possibly against Nonito Donaire in a rematch in Japan. Bob Arum says IBF/WBA bantamweight champion Inoue (21-0, 18 KOs) will be fighting in Japan, and there’s a chance his opponent WBC 118-lb champ Donaire (41-6, 27 KOs) in a unification.
Arum says it’ll be up to Inoue’s co-promoter Akihiko Honda whether the rematch with Donaire takes place or not.
You wouldn’t blame Honda if he chose not to make the fight because Inoue took a lot of punishment in the hardest fight of his career, and that was with him dominating most of the action.
The shots that Donaire did land were damaging, causing a cracked eye ridge, fractured nose, and a bad cut for Inoue.
‘Monster’ Inoue, 28, defeated Donaire by a competitive 12 round unanimous decision in November 2019. The fight was quite entertaining, and ever since then, boxing fans have been calling for a rematch.
Donaire, 38, has been pushing for a second fight with Inoue the entire time, and he would be overjoyed to be allowed to redeem himself.
“He is going to fight this year. We talk with (Akihiko) Honda all the time,” Arum said to WBN. “And we hope we’ll be able to do a fight in Japan in November or December.”
“That is a good possibility,” Arum continued. “But you got to understand — with Inoue, we follow the lead of Honda. So, again, they talked to me about the possibility of doing Donaire in Japan, so we’ll see.”
Given how much punishment Inoue took against Donaire, it wouldn’t be a shock if he chooses not to agree to it. Inoue is one of those fighters that can dish it out fine, but when it comes to taking it in return, he doesn’t deal with it as well.
If you saw how upset Inoue was in his fight with David Carmona in 2016, he looked like he was going to meltdown because he couldn’t score a quick knockout as he’d been doing.
Carmona took Inoue’s shots and dragged him the whole 12 round fight. What I saw in that fight was that Inoue does not react well to getting hit and was getting tagged a lot by Carmona.
It was fortunate for Inoue that Carmona didn’t have much power, but when you’re not used to getting hit back like Inoue, it’s not a good experience when you have to go 12 rounds.
That’s why Inoue may choose not to fight Donaire again because it promises to be another hard fight for him.
Inoue has had a couple of gimmes since his win over Donaire, destroying Jason Moloney and Michael Dasmarinas in knockout wins. As usual, Inoue was too powerful and much too accurate for either of those over-matched bantamweights to compete.
For his part, Donaire was out of the ring for a year and a half after his loss to Inoue before returning to action last May with a brutal fourth round knockout win over WBC bantamweight champion Nordine Oubaali.
That fight was supposed to be competitive, but Donaire had too much power for Oubaali, and he made quick work of him.
Recently, Donaire was supposed to face WBO bantamweight champion John Riel Casimero on August 14th in a unification bout. Surprisingly, Donaire pulled out of the fight, angry with Casimero’s delay with the VADA testing and unhappy with some of the comments made towards his wife.
Some boxing fans believe that Donaire’s real issue is that he didn’t like the fight, so he came up with a couple of excuses to get out of it.
It was a situation where even if Donaire had won, he wouldn’t have received a ton of credit because Casimero isn’t a big name in the U.S. He’s popular worldwide but not in the States.