NAOYA Inoue has proven himself as one of the best in the bantamweight division after a second round knockout of Emmanuel Rodriguez last May 19 in the World Boxing Super Series (WBSS) bantamweight tournament semifinals at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow, Scotland.
Looking at his performance against Rodriguez, it looks as if Inoue is a heavy favorite for winning it all.
But don’t count Filipino star Nonito Donaire Jr. just yet.
“This will be a good fight. I know Inoue is young, has power and is fast, but he’ll have a hard time against Jun Jun,” said Donaire Jr.’s father and trainer Nonito Donaire Sr. told SunStar Cebu.”Inoue is confident. I know he’ll underestimate Jun Jun in their meeting.”
The 36-year-old Donaire Jr. advanced to the finals after a sixth-round knockout of replacement Stephon Young last April 27.
Donaire Sr. feels that Inoue is a dangerous opponent and that he’ll be watching out for his power in both hands.
Donaire Jr. is 40-5 with 26 knockouts, while Inoue is unbeaten with 18-0 with 16 knockouts.
Meanwhile, Inoue’s sparring partner KJ Cataraja feels that a Donaire Jr. and Inoue finals should be an exciting and competitive fight.
“I’m 50-50 on that fight. They are both strong. If Kuya Nonito slacks off in training and doesn’t prepare well, then he’ll lose,” said Cataraja. “Inoue is a beast in training. He trains really hard. He’s very gifted and talented. (EKA)