Naoya Inoue and Nonito Donaire are set to do it once more and with much more at stake the second time round.
The world’s prime two bantamweights are formally set for his or her long-discussed rematch, which BoxingScene.com has confirmed will happen June 7 at Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan. The three-belt unification bout—Inoue’s WBA/IBF titles at stake together with Donaire’s WBC strap—will likely be carried reside on Japan’s Amazon Prime Video.
U.S. tv distribution rights weren’t made out there on the time of Wednesday’s announcement, although BoxingScene.com has realized that such plans will likely be revealed within the coming weeks.
The combat has been within the making for a number of months, and with the intention to return to the location of their terrific November 2019 encounter.
Inoue (22-0, 19KOs)—a three-division titlist and among the many sport’s finest pound-for-pound fighters from Yokohama, Japan—overcame a fractured orbital bone round his proper eye to outpoint Donaire (42-6, 28KOs) over twelve rounds by scores of 114-113, 117-109 and 116-111. Inoue additionally suffered a reduce above his proper eye and was clipped by a Donaire proper hand in spherical 9, however sealed the victory following a physique shot knockdown within the eleventh spherical of their WBA/IBF unification bout and World Boxing Super Sequence (WBSS) bantamweight event remaining.
Donaire has fought twice because the loss to Inoue, bouncing again in an enormous approach.
The legendary four-division champion entered a 3rd bantamweight title reign following a stunningly one-sided, fourth-round knockout of unbeaten WBC titlist Nordine Oubaali final Might 29 at Dignity Well being Sports activities Park in Carson, California. Donaire broke his personal document because the oldest fighter in historical past to win a serious bantamweight title, profitable the WBC strap at 38 ½ years outdated. It got here practically 31 months after his November 2018 harm stoppage win of Ryan Burnett to assert the WBA belt one week earlier than his 36th birthday.
Philippines’ Donaire—who now lives and trains in Las Vegas—returned to Dignity Well being Sports activities Park for his most up-to-date win, a fourth-round knockout of unbeaten countryman Reymart Gaballo final December. Wedged in between the 2 fights have been a failed effort to proceed with a deliberate August 14 WBC/WBO unification bout with Casimero, which concerned a really public feud although the 2 sides have since patched up their variations.
Inoue has received three fights since his memorable win over Donaire, although admittedly needing three months to recuperate from the accidents suffered within the bout earlier than shifting ahead together with his profession.
The primary combat again was to have been a three-belt unification bout with Casimero (31-4, 21KOs) in April 2020 at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. The combat was shut down because of the preliminary wave of the worldwide pandemic, with plans by no means revisited.
Inoue has since moved on together with his profession. The unbeaten 27-year-old has scored three knockouts in as many fights, together with a one-sided eighth-round knockout win over Aran Dipaen final December on the famed Kokugikan Arena in Tokyo. The combat was the primary in Japan for Inoue since his win over Donaire, although even together with his long-awaited return met with its share of hurdles.
The nation’s strict Covid protocols resulted within the borders closed to overseas travels from November 30 via earlier this month. Such measures led to a three-plus month delay in staging the WBA/IBF middleweight title unification bout between Ryota Murata (16-2, 13KOs) and Gennadiy Golovkin (41-1-1, 36KOs).
The bout was as a consequence of happen final December 29 however was postponed till April 9, additionally happening at Saitama Super Arena and airing reside on Amazon Prime in Japan.
The postponement brought about a ripple impact, with Inoue and Donaire—who way back agreed to phrases—compelled to attend, as occasion handlers wished to place house between the 2 blockbuster reveals.
Jake Donovan is a senior author for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox