The Donaire-Inoue rematch in the eyes of those who know boxing
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Philippine boxing was in shock after the devastating knockout loss of four-division world champion Nonito Donaire Jr. in the hands of Japanese superstar Naoya “Monster” Inoue on Tuesday evening in Tokyo, Japan.
Donaire suffered one of the most humiliating defeats in his career after he was knocked out in the second round of the rematch that was initially touted as more explosive than their first encounter which lasted for 12 bloody rounds.
Instead, it turned out to be a one-man display of boxing savvy.
The rematch also served as a unification duel at the Saitama Super Arena with Donaire losing his WBC world bantamweight title and Inoue unifying the WBC, WBA Super, and IBF world bantamweight crowns.
Several Cebuano boxing experts and aficionados saw several lapses in Donaire’s game plan that led to his second-round TKO loss.
Cebuano prospect, Kevin Jake “KJ” Cataraja of Zip Sanman Boxing Gym and international boxing judge Edward Ligas both agreed that Donaire’s aggressiveness did him in.
“Base sa experience nako nga nitan-aw jud in-person live sa duwa nila, feel nako sayup ang gameplan ni Nonito nga iyahang gidali ang fight. Abi nako gani iyahang i-boxing, iyaha naman gi pressure si Inoue,” said Cataraja who is one of Inoue’s regular sparring partners for the past few years.
“Nag expect jud ko moabot to ug 12 rounds duwaa kay compared sa ilahang last nga dula, galisud jud si Naoya kung iyaha lang jud to gi boxing. Siguro ilahang game plan ato gulaton sa power si Naoya pero murag kami tanan pinoy didto nanan-aw nakurat man ing-ato ra kadali. Para nako mo retire na siguro si Nonito kay kadto nga dula murag iyaha nang gipasa ang crown. Dako na sad ug kausaban ang iyahang lihok.”
For Ligas, Donaire’s aggressiveness cost him the bout.
“With regards to his fight last night, he was quite aggressive without knowing that the Monster just wait for well-timed and perfect right hook in the first round. In the second round, he should have used the ring running instead of moving forward to Inoue. When he was hit again, he was wobbling and Inoue punished and finished him.”
Ligas believes that Inoue will eventually move to the 122-pound division later this year, or perhaps fight British Paul Butler for the WBO world bantamweight strap.
Julius Erving Junco
For his part, Julius Erving Junco, Omega Boxing Gym’s chief trainer, noticed something unusual in Donaire’s corner. Junco told CDN Digital that Donaire had new faces in his corner during the bout.
“I just noticed lahi na sad cornermen ni Nonito. If experienced coach to sa corner niya mas naa to adjustment. Off siya gamay ato na fight, in my opinion if ni box siya more and wait for the right timing its another story. Bilib gihapon ko sa ka warrior ni Nonito hands down. Yeah, I think it’s father time for Nonito. He is a legend, one of the best. For inoue the future is so bright. Next fight would be Butler to be undisputed,” said Junco.
Roger Justine Potot
Meanwhile, Roger Justine Potot, the strength and conditioning trainer of ARQ Boxing Stable said Donaire’s legacy is already secured in the Boxing Hall of Fame. Thus, retirement would be the best option for the “Filipino Flash.”
“Donaire’s legacy is secured. A multi-division champion. A surefire ticket for him to the Boxing Hall of Fame,” said Potot.
“For Inoue, he was too sharp and too calculated during the fight. The punching power was on another level. Donaire noted that the first-round knockdown punch was the hardest he was ever hit in his career. That shows you the amount of dynamite Naoya has on both hands,” Potot said. /rcg
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