Nonito Donaire, one of the most remarkable “old” lower weight fighters of recent years, if not of all-time, isn’t looking past Naoya Inoue, who he will fight in an anticipated rematch next Tuesday – but “The Filipino Fash” is certainly thinking big. Very big. Speaking on The DAZN Boxing Show, the amazing 39 year old said he has no doubt he will get the win over Inoue this time and that afterwards he will “definitely go for the undisputed.”
Donaire, 42-6(28) and the WBC bantamweight ruler, says he “fought” Inoue last time (back in November of 2019, the fight, won by Inoue via decision, being an instant classic) but that he will “bring everything” this time around. It sounds as though Donaire will try to outbox “The Monster” this time, and who can say he cannot do it? Donaire says he will beat Inoue and then it’s “on to the next fight.”
“When I do get past Inoue, and I don’t believe in the ‘if.’ I don’t go in the ring thinking the ‘if.’ So, when all is said and done, I’m definitely going for the undisputed,” Donaire said. “Put all the belts together.”
It would be an amazing achievement if Donaire – after all he has done: a pro since 2001, winner of multiple world titles at different weights, a pound-for-pound entrant for years and years – managed to beat Inoue. And it would be a mega, mega achievement if Donaire could then go on to unify the bantamweight titles. Currently, Inoue, 22-0(19) holds the WBA and IBF belts at 118 pounds, which leaves just the WBO belt, which is held by Paul Butler.
But can Donaire really defeat Inoue this time? The first fight was epic, yet Donaire took some heavy shots, being knocked down late by a vicious, how-the-hell-did-he-get-back-up body shot. Donaire landed some hurt himself, busting Inoue’s orbital bone, but in the end it was wide on (two of) the cards, in Inoue’s favour. Credit to both warriors for taking the rematch.
Donaire is thinking big and maybe the ability to do this is what has kept him on the top of his game for so long. If Donaire can win on Tuesday, he will have earned himself a place in one exclusive club, where the price of entrance is true greatness.