It was bonfire night a few of days ago and we celebrated Guy Fawkes Day in Britain as normal but what we didn’t expect was the fireworks we witnessed in the Super Arena, Saitama, Japan on November seven.
Before looking into the memorable encounter served up by Naoya Inoue and Nonito Donaire we must pay homage to the incredible journey boxing has taken us through the last six weekends.
October kicked off with Errol Spence Jr unifying at 147 in a thrilling victory over Shawn Porter, followed by an excellent scrap between 2-time middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin and Sergiy Derevyanchenko.
Know body expected the tear-up we witnessed between Lewis Ritson and Robbie Davies Jr which currently leads the way for domestic fight of the year so far. On the same Weekend Russian Artur Beterbiev stopped Oleksandr Gvozdyk in a super unification bout at light-heavyweight.
Every boxing fan and his mother sang lyrical of the fight that Josh Taylor and Regis Prograis served up in the final of the World Boxing Super Series (WBSS) at super-lightweight. It was nothing short of a spectacle that topped everyone’s list as Fight of the Year.
Last weekend didn’t have the same level of action compared to five just mentioned but the stunning stoppage and historical elements make Saul Canelo Álvarez against Sergey Kovalev a special night.
The seventh instalment, in six blistering weeks is the one we will all remember.
On Thursday in the other WBSS final at bantamweight, there was a tale of the unexpected. Check the full fight report by Daxx Khan;
Nonito Donaire was not given a chance by anyone. Personally, I predicted that Donaire would give a good account of himself until the middle rounds before the inevitable knockout win for Inoue.
To everyone’s amazement the ‘Filipino Flash’ did more than we all expected and went the full distance with one of the most feared punchers in world boxing.
At the ripe age of 36 – soon to be 37 next week – Donaire showed that he still had something left to offer and cemented his claim to be a future hall of famer inductee.
Let the battle commence
It takes two to tango and Inoue played his part in a sparkling performance from both men. The Japanese sensation looked to be in full control after the first, landing two sweet left hands but his veteran opponent came back in the second landing a left of his own which seemed to open a cut above the home fighters’ right eye.
In the next two sessions Donaire refused to allow his younger opponent take any initiative by forcing the pace with the cut clearly becoming a hinderance.
Looking dangerous in the fourth, Inoue changed the tide back into his favour in the fifth landing left hooks and big right hands but somehow Donaire survived.
Impressively the US based Filipino used his experience to seize the tide keeping the ‘Monster’ guessing by landing excellent counters.
With full respect restored Inoue was measured and cautious in his approach, he connected with another left but then Donaire flipped the fight on its head with a beautifully timed right in the ninth that would have flattened many in this division.
Ahead on the scorecards but in the fight of his career, Inoue answered many questions about his chin, heart and desire. A crunching left to body sucked the wind out of Donaire who legged it to safety to spare himself some vital seconds. It looked as though the referee reached the count of ten but it continued. How on earth Donaire survived that eleventh round we will never know?
When both fighters met in the middle of the ring for the final three minutes, it would seem a matter of time before a shot to the body would end it. Yet again the Filipino legend proved us wrong by finishing the fight on his feet.
The official scorecards read 116-111, 117-109 and 114-113 to Inoue, who scoops the IBF, WBA (Super) and Ring Magazine belts by unanimous decision.
Boxing was the winner but no arguments with the verdict although it doesn’t reflect the full story of this modern day classic.
Remember, remember the seventh of November. The World Boxing Super Series never fails to deliver. Naoya Inoue is the Muhammed Ali Trophy Winner!
Seconds out…Don’t forget to listen-in to the Talkin Boxing with Billy C Show every Sunday, and don’t forget to subscribe and hit that like button. You can follow me on;