High Expectations – Inoue & Donaire Face-to-Face in Tokyo
Japan’s ‘Monster’ Naoya Inoue (18-0, 16 KOs) and legendary Filipino-American Nonito ‘The Filipino Flash’ Donaire (40-5, 26 KOs) met on Monday in Tokyo ahead of their showdown for the 118lb Ali Trophy at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan on November 7.
“I recognize how important the WBSS final is to my career,” said 26-year-old Inoue, WBA ‘Regular’ and IBF World Bantamweight titlist. “And how important it will be for my career going forward. I am very aware there are high expectations of me from everyone.
“When this tournament started Nonito Donaire was the fighter I wanted to fight most. I am truly pleased that I am able to fight him in the final of this tournament. So, on November 7th I will give everything I have in this tournament final and attain the Ali Trophy.
“This fight is against Inoue who is one of the best fighters in the world,” said Donaire 36-year-old, WBC Diamond and WBA ‘Super’ World Bantamweight Champion. “To see where my career has been and what people have said about where I am and coming back to the division it inspires me, it motivates me, but most of all it excites me. This is where I wanna be.”
“It is going to be amazing to see the Ali Trophy be lifted by one of these sensational athletes,” adds Kalle Sauerland, Chief Boxing Officer of Comosa, the organiser of the World Boxing Super Series.
“On November 7 at the Saitama Super Arena, one of the largest indoor arenas in the world, it is the defining moment for the ‘Monster’ and ‘The Filipino Flash’. It is going to be a drama: The Drama in Saitama!”
The road to Saitama and the concluding bout in the bantamweight edition of Season II of the World Boxing Super Series:
Tournament No. 2 seed Inoue knocked out Juan Carlos Payano 70 seconds into their quarter-final and then stopped Emmanuel Rodriguez in round two of the semi as he blasted his way to the final contest for the coveted Ali Trophy.
Unseeded Donaire defeated No. 1 seed, Ryan Burnett, as he suffered a lower back injury and had to withdraw from their quarter-final, and then knocked out replacement Stephon Young in round five after Zolani Tete was ruled out of their semi due to a shoulder injury.