Home Columns Naoya Inoue vs Nonito Donaire 2 – Results & Post-Fight Report

Naoya Inoue vs Nonito Donaire 2 – Results & Post-Fight Report

Naoya Inoue adds the WBC crown to his IBF and WBA titles to unify the bantamweight division.

Monstrous Naoya Inoue saw off Nonito Donaire in two rounds.
Monstrous Naoya Inoue saw off Nonito Donaire in two rounds.

Naoya Inoue ruthlessly defended his WBA (super) and IBF bantamweight titles, and added the WBC belt of Nonito Donaire, as the Japanese scored a stunning second round knockout at the Super Arena in Saitama, Japan.

This one was a rematch of a 2019 fight of the year, where Inoue (23-0, KO20) prevailed on the cards after his sternest test to date in the final of the World Boxing Super Series. Donaire (42-7, KO28) was considered near finished, but put up a huge effort and troubled the big punching Inoue at several times in the contest, before being dropped and losing out on points. Since that epic, Inoue had made three low key defences of his belts, while Donaire defied the odds again to take the WBC belt with a knockout of Nordine Oubaali in May last year, and had made one successful defence.

The sequel began tentatively, with both men measuring the other, but ‘Monster’ Inoue landed with a right hand on the back of a solid jab, and also worked well on the counter in the opening round. The tactics worked to perfection for Inoue with seconds left in the first frame, with a huge right hand landing perfectly to drop the Filipino, who survived the count and saw out the frame.

A left hook dipped Donaire’s knees to begin the second, and he was hurt, and Inoue needed no second invitation to unleash several power punches. A huge left hand had Donaire tottering backwards, and a massive left hook on the end of a combination had Donaire down again, and the count was dispensed with.

Naoya’s younger brother Takuma Inoue (16-1, KO3) tasted victory on the scorecards over twelve rounds against the teak tough Gakuya Furuhashi (28-9-2, KO16). Inoue defended his WBO Asia Pacific super bantamweight title, and took the Japanese title from Furuhashi too. Furuhashi took some punishment in the early going, especially the first three frames, but was brave, gave out power punches of his own and continuously came forwards, enjoying strong fourth and fifth rounds, especially to the body of Inoue. The pace was relentless throughout, with both having their successes, but ultimately Inoue just did that little bit more, and took the win by two scores of 120-108, and a third at 119-109.

Andy Hiraoka (20-0, KO15) remained unbeaten, defending his WBO Asia Pacific and Japanese super lightweight titles with a sixth round stoppage of Shun Akaiwa (7-4-1, KO5). A swift left hand decked Akaiwa halfway through the opening round, and Hiraoka was largely dominant from there. Although Akaiwa was brave, he was undone in the sixth, as a volley of power punches by Hiraoka forced the referee to intervene.

Toshiya Ishii (6-1, KO4) stopped Hikaru Fukunaga (9-3, KO6) in the sixth of their scheduled eight rounder at featherweight, while Kanamu Sakama (6-0, KO5) remained unbeaten with a second round stoppage of Fuki Ishigaki (4-5, KO2) at light flyweight.

Kota Matsuno (1-0, KO0) had a successful professional debut, outscoring Minori Okamura (2-2, KO1) over four rounds at welterweight.