Naoya Inoue blasts past Nonito Donaire with second-round KO to collect WBC bantamweight title

Naoya Inoue blasts past Nonito Donaire with second-round KO to collect WBC bantamweight title

June 7, 2022

Naoya Inoue finishes Nonito Donaire with a left hook in the second round

Naoya Inoue ran through Nonito Donaire on Tuesday to add the WBC title to his collection of bantamweight belts, moving a step closer to undisputed status with a second-round knockout.

Three years after beating Donaire (42-7, 28 KOs) via unanimous decision in a scintillating contest at Japan’s Saitama Super Arena, Inoue returned to the site of that clash for a main-event rematch with the Filipino.

This time, the Japanese star required next to no time to see off the veteran, dropping Donaire at the end of the first round before finishing him with a brutal sequence in the second frame.

It was a short right straight that sent Donaire to the canvas with seconds remaining in the opening round, while a left hook spelt the beginning of the end for the 39-year-old early in Round 2.

Inoue, 29, pursued Donaire at once and put him under extreme pressure by pouring on punishing punches, soon staggering his opponent badly with a left hook.

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Shortly thereafter, with Donaire backed up against the ropes, it was another spiteful left hook that finally finished off the Filipino at 1:24 of the round.

With the victory, Inoue improved his unbeaten record to 23-0 (20 KOs) and retained his IBF and WBA Super titles, while collecting Donaire’s WBC belt.

In the pair’s first in-ring meeting, in November 2019, Inoue similarly retained the IBF and WBA Super belts with his decision win. Donaire bounced back with a stoppage of Nordine Oubaali, picking up the WBC strap in the process.

Now, Inoue requires just the WBO title to achieve undisputed status. Paul Butler currently holds that belt.

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