It’s really shaping up as a great final two months of boxing here in 2019. We have this Saturday’s almost impossible to pick Josh Taylor-Regis Prograis 140 pound unification showdown, a fight that will also see the winnner pick up the Muhammad Ali Trophy and be crowned World Boxing Super Series champion at the weight. Then we have the two big world heavyweight title fight rematches, between Deontay Wilder and Luis Ortiz and Andy Ruiz and Anthony Joshua.
The final weeks of the year will also give us Shakur Stevenson-Joet Gonzalez, Sergey Kovalev-Canelo Alvarez, Miguel Berchelt-Jason Sosa, Danny Jacobs-Julio Cesar Chavez Jr, Gervonta Davis-Yuriorkis Gamboa and more. But for this fan’s money, the fight to really look forward to, to get excited about above all the rest, is the bantamweight collision that will take place two weeks from today in Japan: Naoya Inoue Vs. Nonito Donaire.
Inoue, known around the world as “The Monster,” is a special talent, a special puncher who has also got skill in abundance and a fine boxing brain. As exciting as he is, the knock on Inoue, the IBF 118 pound champ, is that he has fought just once this year, and he has seen just two rounds of action. We KO junkies need to see more of this awesome punching machine. Maybe we will get to see a little more of the 26 year old two weeks from today (November 7). But don’t count on it.
As good as Donaire, 40-5(26) is, or was, no-one is ruling out another quick win for Inoue. Donaire, the WBA champ, is 36 years old and his prime has certainly passed him. That said, Donaire is still a fine fighter, perhaps the sternest test so far in the career of “The Monster.” If the fight gets into the fourth, fifth, sixth round, maybe we will see Inoue pushed harder than ever before; and made to think more in the ring than ever before.
There is a good deal of mutual respect between these two proud champions, yet Inoue has said that he will take swift advantage if and when Donaire makes one single mistake. It promises to be a great fight, a great night in Japan; for a few reasons: it’s a unification fight, Inoue-Donaire will see the winner crowned as World Boxing Super Series champ at bantamweight, and the sport’s most lethal puncher, pound-for-pound will be in action for just the third time in eleven months exactly. It should prove worth the wait.
Donaire is coming to fight, he is coming off two good wins, and “The Filipino Flash” has power and speed of his own, not to mention a high ring IQ. It really is a fascinating fight/match-up.
Just one thing: assuming he does get the win, his 19th, either by KO (his 17th) or by decision (and the pick here is Inoue will win, and by KO, in the middle rounds), can we see more of Inoue in 2020? Two fights a year is just not enough for this Monster. He needs to be let out of his cage far more often!