Naoya Inoue heavily favored over Nonito Donaire in WBSS bout
The World Boxing Super Series comes to a close on Thursday, November 7 in Saitama, Japan as bantamweight king Naoya Inoue faces off against the legendary Nonito Donaire. It’s guile vs. grit in a main event that is sure to produce plenty of fireworks.
Inoue has earned his nicknameInoue is called “The Monster,” and for good reason. The undefeated champion is one of the few fighters in history that has a strong fundamental base to go with his frightening power. While Donaire is the most decorated fighter Inoue has faced and a future hall of famer, Inoue’s odds could actually be higher.
There was a time when Donaire was unequivocally one of the best fighters in the lighter weight classes due to his speed and precision punching, but as Donaire has aged, he has become more flat footed and stationary. A strategy consisting of attempting to outslug Inoue and try to slip his punches in close range is all this version of Donaire may have, and it’s also not going to work.
Donaire is bigger, but size won't be enough against InoueSize may be the only thing Donaire has on Inoue, but every other advantage is in the hands of the Japanese champion. Three of his last four fights have ended by the second round, and these shots came to the head and the body. So far, Inoue hasn’t found an opponent who can flummox him with movement or withstand his offense, and this version of Donaire is less capable than even those foes were.
? Naoya Inoue: “I have been watching Nonito Donaire throughout his career and was stealing his moves when I was starting out in boxing. I have a lot of respect for Donaire, I have idolised him. But now it’s time for a change of generations.”— Michael Benson (@MichaelBensonn) October 30, 2019
If Donaire can pull out a vintage performance for one last night, he might have a chance. Movement is key as the minute Inoue pins Donaire against the ropes or cuts off the ring, he will not be able to fight him off without being worse for wear. A jab-and-grab strategy might slow Inoue down or even frustrate him, but Donaire cannot falter for even a second or he’ll be knocked out.
Don't count on Donaire defying the oddsEven if Donaire was in his prime, there is only a faint chance he would make it into the middle rounds. Inoue is setting the foundation of a potentially legendary career and he’s just too much of everything a fighter at Donaire’s age doesn’t want to see. Inoue is going to come right at him and Donaire’s only chance is to hope he can fight him off before spending the rest of the night retreating and fishing for a big shot.
There will be no grand last stand or wily veteran defying the odds. Once Inoue catches on that Donaire can’t get away from him, he’s going to hurt him with a sustained body attack early and leave him defenseless before putting him down for good before the fourth round.
Boxing free pick: Inoue (-1200)