This Thursday in Japan, bantamweight sensation, indeed power-punching sensation, Naoya Inoue will face, perhaps, his career toughest fight as he will lock horns with the classy and experienced Nonito Donaire. To add to the stakes, high enough already, the prestigious Muhammad Ali Trophy will be on the line, the winner to become the 118 pound king of the World Boxing Super Series here in 2019.
Fans everywhere are interested in Thursday’s fight; even if most expect to see another big KO from the unbeaten “Monster.” Donaire is 36 years old and though the “Filipino Flash” remains a formidable fighter, the former multi-weight champ is in tough against Inoue.
Indicative of just how tough a job most feel Thursday’s assignment will be for Donaire, 40-5(26) is the fact that in a poll of 25 experts over at RingTV.com, only two pundits picked Donaire to beat Inoue, 18-0(16). And in terms of official betting, 26 year old Inoue is listed as a 1/10, or -1000 favourite to get the win as per William Hill. Donaire is currently listed at 11/2, or +500.
Of the 23 experts who tell Ring that Inoue will win, many feel the firepower belonging to “The Monster” will see him to an inside the distance victory; with just four of these experts feeling Inoue will win a decision. People like Paulie Malignaggi, Wayne McCullough and Duke McKenzie think Inoue will be able to get Donaire out of there.
So which two experts are picking Donaire to spring the upset? Ring writer Anson Wainright feels Donaire will have a great game-plan and that the veteran will score a sensational 6th-round KO.
While manager and trainer Sam Garcia has gone on record as saying Donaire will win via upset KO; though he did not specify a round.
It would be a massive upset if Donaire, away from home and giving away so much: age, power, freshness, managed the win. It won’t happen, though Donaire can be expected to give it his all and go out on his shield. It could be a great fight, while it lasts. But will the fight last too long?
Prediction: though another frightening one-round KO or stoppage cannot be ruled out for Inoue, as great as Donaire is (or was), the pick here is for Donaire to stick around for a bit longer, making Inoue work, and take some shots, before “The Monster” lowers the boom. This will come somewhere around the third or fourth round.
Inoue is the deadliest and purest one-punch KO artist operating today.