The battle of 2019 is getting closer to seeing a sequel.
A bantamweight title unification match between the WBA, IBF and Ring Magazine title player Naoya Inoue and WBC crown winner Nonito Donaire is currently in talks to be held in April in Japan, Donaire promoter and Probellum CEO Richard Schaefer told BoxingScene.com in an interview on Monday.
Schaefer said he is currently in discussions with Teiken Promotion’s Inoue Akihiko Honda to bring the product to Asia this spring. Inoue was also co-promoted by Top Rank since signing to the American outfit shortly after defeating Donaire.
“This is definitely a fight that we really want to do and Nonito wants it too. We had no problem coming to Japan. Donaire has the balls to go into the lion’s den again. This is one of the biggest fights you can make in the sport,” Schaefer said. “I can’t speak for Inoue, but I know it’s the fight he wants too. I’ve always believed that when there’s a big war, you can – and it’s a big war. I will squeeze every resource and will not leave any stone to end this war. This is what Nonito and the fight fans want. We as a sport need to deliver it. I believe we will get the job done.”
Inoue (22-0, 19 KOs) and Donaire (42-6, 28 KOs) meet on November 7, 2019 at the Super Arena in Saitama, Japan for the World Boxing Super Series final round and that’s who hometown hero Inoue, who brought home a decisive unanimous victory with the scores 111-116, 113-114 and 109-117.
Donaire was knocked down in the fray, and Inoue fought through his right eye socket in a barbaric gunfight that left Inoue with 227 punches compared to Donaire’s 141.
“Both guys have only gotten bigger since that fight, and perhaps even better, which is interesting especially for Nonito,” Schaefer said.
28-year-old Inoue and 39-year-old Donaire have been on a collision course ever since Donaire regained the 118-pound WBC title by beating undefeated Frenchman Nordine Oubaali via KO in the fourth round in May. .
“The Filipino Flash” Donaire — 115, 118, 122 and 126 pound four-weight champion — also defeated fellow Filipino Reymart Gaballo with a powerful fourth-round hit on Dec. 11. Donaire, martial arts 2012 , becoming the oldest bantamweight champion in boxing history and improving to 13-1 in the weight division. After the fight, he begged for another meeting with Inoue and has even since entertained the idea of dropping to 115 pounds to face the winner of a March trio match between Juan Francisco Estrada and Roman Gonzalez.
Three days after Donaire defeated Gaballo, on December 14, “The Monster” Inoue easily handled superior opponent Aran Dipaen in Japan and scored a TKO in the eighth round. In two fights after the Donaire affair and before Dipaen, Inoue continued to assert his position as the top of the boxing weight list when he knocked out both Jason Moloney in October 2020 and Michael Dasmarinas in June.
If a bout with Inoue doesn’t materialize, Schaeffer said Donaire could also consider a bout at the 122-pound, specifically against WBO and WBC champion Stephen Fulton (20-0.8 KOs).
“There are different opportunities in and around those weight classes,” says Schaeffer.
Another potential showdown for Donaire could be another 118-pound champion in WBO boxer John Riel Casimero. An all-Filipino fight broke out last summer when Casimero and Donaire announced their fight but was later called off after Donaire was unhappy with Casimero’s VADA registration.
Casimero (31-4, 21 KOs) went on to beat former Donaire conqueror Guillermo Rigondeaux in August and was scheduled to hit a Probellum card against a mandatory Paul Butler in December, but the Filipino was forced had to withdraw before the match considering the battle with gastritis.
Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist, writer and broadcaster. He is also a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and the MMA Journalists Association. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan, by email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at]gmail.com or on www.ManoukAkopyan.com.
https://www.boxingscene.com/naoya-inoue-vs-nonito-donaire-rematch-negotiations-april-japan–163508 Naoya Inoue vs. Nonito Donaire rematch in April talks in Japan