Nonito Donaire (42-7, 28 KOs) says he regrets choosing to brawl with IBF/WBA bantamweight champion Naoya ‘Monster’ Inoue (23-0, 20 KOs) after getting knocked down by him in the first round, which led to him getting stopped in the second round on Tuesday night in Saitama, Japan.
Donaire admits that he threw his game plan out the window once he was knocked down by a right hand from Inoue at the end of round one.
Before that, the 39-year-old Donaire had come into the fight planning on boxing the unbeaten knockout artist, but unfortunately, he lost his composure once he tasted the canvas in round one.
Inoue took advantage of Donaire’s aggressiveness in the second round by hurting him twice with big left hooks. The 29-year-old ‘Monster’ Inoue then finished Donaire off with a scoring right hand to the head that dropped him hard.
Referee Michael Griffin wasn’t one of those types of officials that was going to give Donaire the benefit of the doubt to keep fighting, so he pulled the plug a tad bit early.
It didn’t matter, though. With how Donaire was choosing to slug, he wouldn’t have lasted for long against Inoue if the fight had been allowed to resume.
“It’s hard losing, especially when you’ve been winning,” said Nonito Donaire on Twitter following his loss to Naoya Inoue. “You have to regroup and look at the bigger picture.
“We implemented boxing,” said Donaire. “We had a great game plan, using the jab, the feint, moving. I had even worked with SugarHill, and he said to box and stuff. The moment I got caught, I just wanted to brawl.
“We have to take this learning experience into something positive. This is what happened with the first punch, the straight. I was trying to counter with a hook, and I got caught with it [right hand from Inoue in round one]. I didn’t see it at all.
“All I know is the referee was counting me, and I got up. He was still counting, and I was like, ‘Why is he counting still?’ Then I turned around at my corner, and Rich said, ‘Put your hands up, or he’ll count you out.’
“I put my hands up, and I was, “I got dropped. I got dropped.’ When I went to my corner, I said, ‘What did he hit me with?’ ‘It was a one-two,’ so that’s what happened. I saw it in the replay, but I came back real fast, though.
“I apologized to my guys for not performing the way I did, and they said, ‘You’re still winning doing what others couldn’t do.’ I’m the kind of guy that never gives up.
“No matter how many times you drop me, I keep getting up. That’s just who I am, and I’m proud of that. I can stand there, go down, and get up as many times.
“I took his best shot, and he can crack. He did what he did. I’m just grateful that I’m healthy,” said Donaire.