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Nonito Donaire: The tougher the fight, the more I show up

Donaire discusses his upcoming WBSS final match against Naoya Inoue.

Ali Trophy Quarter-Finals - World Boxing Super Series Fight Night Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images
Wil Esco is an assistant editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2014.

Nonito Donaire (40-5, 26 KOs) looks to have a big task in front of him as he prepares to take on Naoya Inoue (18-0, 16 KOs) in just a couple of days for the WBSS bantamweight final match. Donaire, 36, is the considerable underdog heading into this fight, but he’s not letting that get to him as he tells ESPN that there’s a solution to every problem, and he expects to find the one to solve Inoue.

“There’s a lot of possibilities to win fights. I’ve always believed in a solution to everything,” Donaire said. “I felt the same way when I fought Darchinyan the first time. I felt the same way when I fought Montiel. It was a daunting task, against guys who are incredible. I’ve been there. I know what to do.

”The tougher the fight, the more I show up. That’s why I always seek to fight the best, and that’s why I’ve always gone to seek the bigger fights because it always brings out the best in me. This fight [against Inoue] definitely is going to bring out the best of me in every way.”

That’s pretty much the attitude you’d expect any real fighter to adopt leading into a match like this — but Inoue isn’t just any opponent. Inoue is a real problem, a dangerous problem, for anyone he faces in the division.

But Donaire says now that he’s back at bantamweight, a division that suits him, he’s in much better physical condition to compete at the highest levels. We won’t know that for sure until the bell rings though, as Donaire hasn’t been in with a fight this young and talented in a long time.

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