The Rematch is LIVE on ESPN+ – Naoya Inoue and Nonito Donaire to meet in a bantamweight title unification bout from Japan – Streaming coverage begins at 5 a.m. ET/2 a.m. PT
Nonito Donaire says he is “fired up” after making weight ahead of his eagerly awaited rematch with Naoya Inoue. The 39-year-old tipped the scales at 117.8lbs in Yokohama earlier today (June 6), to comfortably come inside the bantamweight limit, while Inoue weighed in at 118lbs.
Donaire and his Japanese rival clash at the Super Arena in Saitama tomorrow, with the WBC, WBA and IBF world titles on the line, in a fight the whole of boxing will be watching.
After squaring off with Inoue for the final time before fight night, the Filipino Flash said: “I feel good, I feel great. It is going to be an amazing night and you can look forward to seeing the best of me.
“I am very fired up and it is going to be a very exciting fight!”
The rematch of 2019’s Fight of the Year headlines an event which is promoted by Ohashi Promotion and Teiken Promotions, in association with Probellum, with the first fight due to start at 4:50pm local time, and Donaire vs Inoue scheduled for 9pm local time.
Donaire rebounded from the first fight with Inoue to claim the WBC bantamweight title and set up a second showdown which promises to be more explosive than their classic encounter, nearly three years ago.
The future Hall of Fame inductee is confident of gaining revenge over the fighter known as ‘Monster’ and Donaire wants to set up an undisputed clash with WBO champion Paul Butler.
Nonito Donaire vs Naoya Inoue rematch
Probellum is honoured to have helped the great Nonito Donaire secure a blockbuster bantamweight rematch with Naoya Inoue – a fight the whole of boxing was calling for.
Donaire and Inoue combined to produce 2019’s Fight of the Year and will rematch on June 7, at the Super Arena, in Saitama, Japan in one of the biggest contests to be made in the sport.
Donaire’s promoter Probellum, led by President Richard Schaefer, has been working tirelessly behind-the-scenes to help make this mouth-watering unification match-up a reality.
Next month’s rematch between Donaire and Inoue will be promoted by Ohashi Promotion and Teiken Promotions in association with Probellum.
Richard Schaefer, President of Probellum said: “To be able to help bring together two of the best fighters in the world for this massive unification fight, is a proud moment for our business.
“Probellum launched only eight months ago and has already been a key player in making sure the rematch between Donaire and Inoue becomes a reality.
“I am incredibly excited for this fight, so too are Donaire and Inoue and the whole of boxing cannot wait for it.”
Inoue edged a remarkable first contest between the pair, winning on the judges’ scorecards after 12 rounds, but Donaire fractured his opponent’s nose and broke his orbital bone, in a brutal fight for the ages.
The Japanese star, who forced his rival to touch down in round 11, holds the WBA ‘Super’ and IBF belts in the 118lbs division but since their 2019 fight, Donaire has responded in legendary fashion, by winning the WBC crown with a fourth-round knockout of Nordine Oubaali.
The Filipino Flash, Nonito Donaire said: “Our first fight was brutal and amazing, it was a classic, but the rematch is going to be even better.
“I am heading into this monumental fight with a new mindset, because the first contest with Inoue was an awakening for me and I now know I can defeat him.
“I am incredibly grateful for the work of Richard and Probellum in helping to make this fight a reality because it is not only the fight I wanted, but the one the world wanted as well.
“June 7, in Japan, is going to be a special evening for the sport and make no mistake, it will end in a Donaire victory.”
Donaire, a future Hall of Fame fighter, joined the Probellum ranks in October last year, not long after the promotional company launched.
The 39-year-old is a four-weight world champion and in winning the WBC bantamweight title in May, broke his own record as the oldest fighter to ever hold a belt in that division.
Nonito Donaire vs Naoya Inoue rematch to be ‘monumental’ moment for boxing
WBA/IBF bantamweight world champion Naoya “Monster” Inoue is 17-0 in world title fights and only once has been pushed to the brink.
WBC bantamweight world champion Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire, the four-weight kingpin whose late-career renaissance cemented his status as one of boxing’s greatest lighter weight champions, has one more shot to stun the Japanese pound-for-pound icon.
Inoue and Donaire will meet in a title unification rematch Tuesday, June 7, at Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan. Inoue and Donaire first fought in November 2019 at Saitama Super Arena, with Inoue overcoming a broken orbital bone and nose to win a unanimous decision in the consensus Fight of the Year.
Inoue-Donaire 2 and undercard bouts will stream live and exclusively in the U.S. on ESPN+ starting at 5 a.m. ET/2 a.m. PT.
“Naoya Inoue and Nonito Donaire’s first fight is among the greatest championship battles I’ve ever seen, and I am thrilled that American fight fans can watch the rematch on ESPN+,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum.
Inoue (22-0, 19 KOs), a three-weight world champion, won the WBC light flyweight title in April 2014 and ascended to pound-for-pound prominence with dominant runs at junior bantamweight and bantamweight. At one point, Inoue had a championship streak of seven consecutive knockouts against fighters who had never been stopped before. He joined the bantamweight ranks in May 2018 with a devastating first-round stoppage over Jamie McDonnell. One year later, he knocked out Emmanuel Rodriguez in two rounds to win the IBF world title. Since unifying the IBF and WBA belts versus Donaire, Inoue has knocked out Jason Moloney, Michael Dasmariñas, and Aran Dipaen.
Donaire (42-6, 28 KOs), a 39-year-old future Hall of Famer who won his first world title at flyweight in 2007, has experienced a career rebirth since moving down from featherweight following a decision defeat to Carl Frampton in 2018. He earned stoppage wins over Ryan Burnett and Stephon Young in his first two bantamweight contests before stepping up to face Inoue. Donaire before showed no ill effects from the 12-round shootout with Inoue, returning last May to upset Nordine Oubaali via fourth-round stoppage to win the WBC title. Donaire then defended that strap in December with a fourth-round knockout over the previously undefeated Reymart Gaballo.
In other streaming action on ESPN+:
- Takuma Inoue (15-1, 3 KOs), the younger brother of Naoya and a former bantamweight world title challenger, will defend his WBO Asia Pacific junior featherweight strap in a 12-rounder versus Gakuya Furuhashi (28-8-2, 16 KOs). Inoue has won two straight since a decision loss to Nordine Oubaali for the WBC bantamweight world title, while Furuhashi is unbeaten in 11 fights dating back to 2016.
- Rising junior welterweight star Andy Hiraoka (19-0, 14 KOs) will defend his Japanese title against Shun Akaiwa (7-3-1, 5 KOs) in a 10-rounder. Hiraoka has won five straight by knockout, including two stoppages on Top Rank on ESPN undercards.