Nonito Donaire says he’s expecting to beat Naoya Inoue in their June 7 rematch, and gives his thoughts on the May 7 fight between Canelo Alvarez and Dmitry Bivol, too.
Donaire, 39, lost a war with Inoue in the unanimous choice for the 2019 Fight of the Year, and has since gone out and won the WBC bantamweight title in 2021, making the rematch with Inoue in Saitama, Japan, a three-belt unification at 118 lbs.
On his upcoming rematch with Naoya Inoue
“That was a hell of a fight with Inoue and one thing I do know when I got out of that ring, I felt that I could beat him. So I put myself in this position where I won the WBC (title) and trained really hard and had a lot of focus, and that’s pretty much what I have in my mind, is beating this guy. He’s a tremendous and incredible fighter but I believe I’m ready, 100 percent, exponentially better than I was.
“The fight is June 7th in Japan, in Saitama. They’re calling it ‘Drama in Saitama 2’ — the same place, the same location, but different results. My talent, my speed, my power, and most of all just the strategy that I’m putting in is going to be the biggest asset in winning this fight.”
“Canelo has the greatest momentum going in with the bigger guys. He is definitely the faster guy and he has tremendous head movement and I believe when he does get in there he’s (gonna bring) tremendous power and all that stuff, and that’s something that he has to do. But Bivol is no walk in the park.
“I think Bivol is the taller guy, he’s definitely the taller guy, but using that reach, like — you have those type of fighters in the amateurs, they know how to use the distance, and if he does use that jab properly and uses distance properly, it’s gonna be a hell of a night for Canelo. But Canelo, when he gets in there with head movement, that’s when he can use his power and I think it’s gonna be an amazing fight.”