Ring, IBF, WBA and WBO bantamweight titleholder Naoya Inoue and WBC counterpart Nonito Donaire will meet in a eagerly awaited rematch at the Super Arena in Saitama, Japan on Tuesday.
The pair collide on ESPN + with the broadcast beginning at 5:00 am ET / 2:00 am PT.
Inoue, 29, defeated Donaire (UD 12) in an instant classic, which was later named The Battle of the Year by The Ring for 2019. Since then, he has marked time with three title defenses awaiting his next big fight. “The Monster” is currently rated number 3 on the mythical pound for pound list.
Donaire, that is rated number 1 by The Ring, returned impressively from Inoue’s failure. The 39-year-old regained his old WBC belt by brutally stopping Nordine Oubaali (KO 4) and turned back Raymart Gaballo (KO 4) in his first title defense.
Can Inoue win in a more definitive fashion this time around? Can Donaire land with a decisive left hook? Inoue has not been pushed since the first battle. Will that be a factor? Donaire’s 40th birthday is just a few months away. Can he keep his father’s time again?
Online gambling group William Hill lists Inoue as a 1/6 (-600) favorite, while Donaire is priced at 4/1 (+400); the draw is 20/1 (+2000).
Here’s how experts see it:
TOM GRAY: INOUE UD
“The first fight is the best I’ve ever watched live from the ring side, which is far from what I expected to get in. For me, Nonito’s decision to go back down to 118 pounds and his age will prove disastrous against the. Donaire did an incredible job of defeating, shaking up “The Monster” and inflicting serious facial damage. two fights later, he grabbed another world title and looked amazing. I like Inoue by decision in the rematch, but if Donaire pulled it off, I wouldn’t be surprised at all. My days of getting rid of this guy are over. “
ANSON WAINWRIGHT: INOUE UD
“I’m glad Inoue has the chance of a big fight after not being able to secure one since ‘The Drama in Saitama.’ Oubaali and Reymart Gaballo They are solid wins but not Inoue level I feel best for first Donaire may just cut Inoue but he will turn 40 in a few months and as good as he was, he is no longer in his At first glance, I think Inoue will box and pick his moments and slowly destroy Donaire and maybe win a blow on the way to a broad unanimous decision without the drama of their first fight. “
LEE GROVES: INOUE KO 7
“A match between Inoue and Donaire at their best would have been even more sensational than their first real-life meeting in November 2019, but the difficult reality is that Donaire is pushing 40 and the 29-year-old Inoue is still at his. Chronological peak, though he “The Monster” has fulfilled its nickname over and over again because of its sharp all-round game, and that game will show Donaire that 39 is not the new 29. Always the perfect professional, Donaire will give his best In an excellent physical and mental condition and after the bell rings he will fight with honor, but Inoue operates on an elite level that he will not be able to handle. in Fight One, but at the time of his election he will shift into overdrive, drill holes through the Filipinos’ defenses, and win a systematic but sensational TKO victory that will further confirm his high quality in-today. a pound-for-pound list. “
MARTY MULCAHEY: INOUE TKO
“I can wrap my thoughts on the rematch of Naoya Inoue – Nonito Donaire in one sentence. Donaire is three years older, while Inoue is three years closer to perfection. Their first fight was closer than I expected, and worthy of a rematch Donaire was able to push Inoue like no other, but I see Inoue boxing more skilfully this time (think Humberto Gonzalez V. Michael Carbajal II) and use a higher speed to time Donaire into mistakes instead of trying to punch him like the one last time. This time Inoue will be able to work in and out without being routinely tagged, and punish Donaire until a late round stop. “
MICHAEL MONTERO: INOUE TKO
“For the first time, Donaire did everything he could against Inoue, but it wasn’t quite enough. This time, I believe “The Monster” will be an improved fighter, having learned a few difficult lessons during the 2019 Battle of the Year. I like Inoue for being late in Saitama. “
NORM FRAUENHEIM: INOUE TKO 11
“Nonito Donaire’s resilience over the last decade has been astonishing. Seemingly inexhaustible. He keeps coming back, first from a loss to Guillermo Rigondeaux, then Nicholas Walters, then Jessie Magdalene, then Carl Frampton. Can he do it, do it again, this time from a decisive loss to Naoya Inoue in the 2019 Battle of the Year? He was 36 then, just nine days after another birthday. Now, he is 39 years old, within six months of turning 40 against Inoue, 29 years old and in his prime. The years say it’s Inoue’s time now more than ever in an attack that is supposed to end late against Donaire, still a game, yet without the energy to win another comeback. Inoue TKO 11. “
DIEGO MORILLA: INOUE UD
“I learned the hard way to never bet on a Filipino fighter. I’ve predicted so many defeats by Manny Pacquiao that never materialized that I didn’t even bother to count them. And I did predict Inoue’s demolition victory in the first battle against Donaire, which was not at all accurate. But Inoue remains such a huge fighter that it would take the best Donaire to even get close to the kind of action he did the first time. We may see more respect and caution from both fighters, but once the action warms up, everything will be Inoue in the long run. “
DUKE MCKENZIE (FORMER THREE-DIVISION HOLDER / TV Analyst): INOUE TKO
“Inoue-Donaire 2 is still a good fight. Donaire’s recent form has been very good but ‘The Monster’ looks invincible at the moment with no visible cracks in his armor. Inoue wins that again, this time in the distance. This should to be completed within nine rounds. “
PAUL BUTLER (WBO BANTAMWEIGHT HOLDER): INOUE TKO
“I think it’s a wonderful fight again but with Inoue it’s a little more dominant this time. Donaire still looks brilliant, even at his age, but I think Inoue’s freshness along with the speed and power can get Donaire out late in the fight with body shots. “
RAUL MARQUEZ (FORMER WORLD CHAMPION / COMMENTARY): INOUE KO
“Nonito Donaire is 39 years old and is basically training. I think Inoue hit him in less than six rounds. “
JOLENE MIZZONE (MANAGER): INOUE TKO 10
“I think the first fight was a great fight, but I also think it took a lot of both guys. Where Nonito is the older fighter, I’m not sure if he’ll last the whole fight. Naoya Inoue TKO 10.”
ROBERTO DIAZ (MADUCHIST, GOLDEN BOY): INOUE TKO 9
“The first fight was very close and Donaire seems to get better over time. This will really show where Inoue is and whether he can learn and improve. I think he is and can. It’s a fun, exciting fight where Donaire will start strong but will soon fade from Inoue’s power. Inoue TKO 9. “
MARC RAMSAY (COACH): INOUE UD
“Inoue is definitely one of the boxers I like to see evolving the most, but in their last fight Donaire surprised me a lot. He looked big and very strong physically and he presented several problems to Inoue in this fight. I see the same kind of a very competitive battle but, in the end, Inoue should win again by a close decision. “
KATHY DUVA (PROMOTER, MAIN SPEAKERS): INOUE TKO 9
“The first fight between the two was incredible. Nonito Donaire continues to defy the odds at his age. He is already a first-round Hall of Fame. I’m sure both fighters will make adjustments coming in the rematch. But in the end, I believe youth Inoue has just hit his best and has shown no signs of slowing down. I think he gets the late stop in Round 9. “
ALEX STEEDMAN (COMMENTARY): INOUE PTS
“This is such a difficult call and an almost impossible sequel to the hit first battle of 2019. With both fighters looking dynamite with knockout victories since then, sure, we can’t get more of the same? Sure, Inoue has shown no psychological effects from the “A wound while Donaire continues to defy logic and time. Nonito will try to catch Inoue with big shots but I feel the monster has more scope to adapt if not improve. Inoue can press the action for a point victory. Inoue by decision.”
STEVE FARHOOD (TV ANALYST): INOUE TKO 7
“It’s dangerous to figure out Donaire, of course, but it’s also hard to imagine that at his advanced age he will repeat his incredible effort from the first battle. Inoue is a big enough punisher to stop Donaire. Inoue en sep. “
TONY TOLJ (MANISTER): INOUE UD
“Inoue-Donaire 2, is becoming another classic. Inoue from Round 2 has fought through a broken eye socket, and Donaire can never be underestimated and is like good wine, only getting better with age. However, father time awaits no man and I believe Inoue, the ultimate student, learn from the previous battle and win and may stop Donaire. Inoue by unanimous decision. “
JASON MOLONEY (BANTAMWEIGHT CONTENDER): INOUE TKO 10
“I’m really looking forward to Inoue’s rematch against Donaire and I hope it’s a spitting fight just like the first one was. I think Inoue learned a lot from that first fight and with the extra experience and also the improvements he has made over the past two-and-a-half years. I think he wins this rematch much more convincingly. I have a lot of respect for Donaire, but at 39, unfortunately I think it must be time / battle when he starts showing his age. I think meeting Chief Inoue with the extra experience and improvements he’s made, this may be the battle we’re seeing. I predict Inoue’s victory, TKO 10. “
ERIC BOTTJER (INJURY): INOUE TKO 9
“I like Inoue ending Donaire’s wonderful career by knockout. Nonito has been an elite fighter for nearly two decades, a phenomenal length of time for a man his size. But Inoue, at the age of 29, is at his peak, and he is perhaps the best 118-pounder who has ever lived. I suspect he learned enough from Donaire during their first fight to take advantage of the missteps of the aging Donaire. Inoue in nine rounds. “
JOHN SCULLY (COACH): INOUE
“As much as I love Nonito, I can’t resist the savage, Inoue, at the moment. I think it’s a difficult but emphatic unanimous decision for him. “
Final score: Inoue 20-0
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