Naoya Inoue put an exclamation mark on his rematch with Nonito Donaire today in Saitama, Japan, stopping the Hall of Fame-bound legend in just two rounds to unify the WBC, WBA, and IBF bantamweight titles.
Inoue (23-0, 20 KO) was all “Monster” in this one, dropping Donaire (42-7, 28 KO) with an excellent right hand late in the first round, before pouncing and taking Donaire apart in the second frame. Donaire was knocked down a second time, and referee Michael Griffin made the decision to step in and stop the fight at 1:24 of round two.
It was a truly exhilarating sort of performance from the 29-year-old Inoue, who may have impressed more than ever. Donaire may be 39, but he’d been excellent in his last two fights, was without question the No. 2 bantamweight in the world, and went a brutal and thrilling 12 rounds with Inoue the first time around.
This one was a different story, leaving us all somewhat in awe, and that includes fellow fighters.
Here’s what some of the pros had to say:
Great stoppage. Inoue an animal, getting better - learned ALOT from the first fight. Wow.— Sunny Edwards (@SunnyEdwards) June 7, 2022
Omfg Inoue really dat. Lol ya playin keep asking why he on the p4p list— Lamont Roach Jr (@OneOf1x) June 7, 2022
Inoue is a savage— Jordan Gill (@_JordanGill) June 7, 2022
Great warriors respect.— Franchón Crews-Dezurn (@TheHHDiva) June 7, 2022
Inoue was bigger and stronger this time round had a laser like focus And didn’t underestimate donaire this time I believe 1st time he just expected to do what he did tonight mentally in boxing you have to be right it can make the difference— Enzo Maccarinelli (@theRealEnzoMac) June 7, 2022
Inoue has some fucking dynamite in those hands got damn.— Ishé Oluwa Kamau Ali Smith (@IsheSugarShay) June 7, 2022
There never been a more apt nickname than “The Monster”— Tyrone McCullagh (@WhiteChoc90) June 7, 2022
Inoue is fucking good— Ohara Davies (@OharaDavies) June 7, 2022
How far can Inoue move up has to be the question?— Darren Reay (@DarrenReay007) June 7, 2022
That man is really a monster !— Mike Reed (@YesIndeed_Reed) June 7, 2022