"The Monster" Turns in Godzilla-like Performance in Japan
June 23 | 2022
In a rare big fight on a Tuesday, Naoya "the Monster" Inoue lived up to his nickname stopping rival Nonito Donaire in two rounds at Japan's Saitama Super Arena to win their bantamweight boxing title unification match. Considered by some the best pound-for-pound fighter in the sport, Inoue devastated his opponent in a rematch of what was 2019's fight of the year.
Inoue took a decision back then but was not content to let this bout go to the judges. Though one of the best body punchers in boxing, he barely went downstairs on Tuesday, instead head hunting from the start. Using the left hand almost exclusively through most of the first, Inoue suddenly surprised his opponent with a short right hand out of nowhere that caught Donaire on the temple and dropped him toward the end of the round. The 29-year-old Japanese fighter came out firing left hooks to start the second round and wobbled Donaire with one about a minute in. Pouncing on his foe, he caught him in the corner with a perfect three punch combination capped by another left hook that sat Donaire down and had the referee stopping the bout.
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