Donaire promises to be at 100% for Inoue rematch

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 16 2022 11:51 AM

Naoya Inoue and Nonito Donaire Jr. From Donaire's Instagram page
Naoya Inoue and Nonito Donaire Jr. From Donaire's Instagram page

World bantamweight champion Nonito Donaire Jr. said he was not at his best when he fought Naoya Inoue in 2019.

This is why he feels he has a better chance of defeating the "Monster" from Japan when they meet again in June.

"Siguro from the way I am now, siguro 50% lang (lang ako noon)," Donaire told veteran boxing analyst Dennis Principe in a YouTube interview.

"Because ’yung lakas ko naman hindi talaga nakita, because during the training camp, ang pina-practice ko palagi ’yung speed. But I never really sat down on my punches. And nakita natin na iba ’yung gloves na ginamit ko doon, kasi nasira ’yung gloves on the shipping."

That action-packed bout was hailed as one of the best fights of that year. 

Donaire pushed Inoue on the brink, damaging the Japanese's eye socket before getting knocked down en route to a unanimous decision.

"So lahat lahat doon I believe that I wasn't at the full capacity performing. I'm not with my full power, not with my full speed, not with my full mentality," he said.

Donaire will again battle Inoue on June 7 in Saitama. The unbeaten Inoue's WBA and IBF titles and Donaire's WBC belt will all be on the line when they meet.

Donaire said getting into the proper mindset will be crucial in his rematch.

"Sa laban ko Inoue dati, wala akong mentality doon. Except for the fight mentality, wala ’yung champion mentality," he said. "Kung sino ’yung Nonito Donaire na choice ko that's who you will see, that's the person you will see inside the ring.

"Kung believe ko 21 years old ako, that's how I'm gonna fight. ’Pag inisip ko ng 40 years, 50 years na’ko then that's how I'm gonna fight. Kung anuman ang salita sa isip that becomes you."

The Inoue fight has shown Donaire's resurgence as a bantamweight. 

Following his loss to the Japanese champion, Donaire went on to knock out Nordine Oubaali for the WBC bantamweight title. He successfully defended the crown by stopping fellow Filipino Reymart Gaballo.