Tuesday night at the Saitama Super Arena in Japan, Naoya Inoue and Nonito Donaire ran in back. The 29-year-old Japanese knockout artist and the Filipino future Hall of Famer fought for the second time, unifying the WBC, WBA, IBF and Ring Magazine bantamweight titles.
Their first contest captivated audiences and was the 2019 Fight of the Year. Inoue ended up winning a back-and-forth war, and it was one of the rare times “The Monster” was pushed up until the final bell.
This second bout started as wild as the first, with both men throwing bombs from the opening round. After trading hard shots, Inoue dropped Donaire at the end of the very first round.
They traded bombs again to start the second, and while Donaire showed heart, Inoue’s power and precision punching overwhelmed him. Inoue hurt him on multiple occasions, and while he tried to survive, he eventually got dropped and the referee put the halt in the action to call the fight.
Donaire, 39, came into the contest as the oldest to win a bantamweight world title. He still looked sharp at that age, but The Monster’s nickname and top pound for pound status is warranted and he will be now going home with three of the four major bantamweight titles.
Official result: Naoya Inoue def. Nonito Donaire by TKO, 1:24 of Round 2
Watch some highlight videos from Inoue vs Donaire 2 below: