There’s a reason why Nonito Donaire Jr. is confident about possibly facing Japanese “Monster” Naoya Inoue in the finals of the World Boxing Super Series bantamweight tournament.
Donaire successfully reached the finals by knocking out Stephon Young to remain the WBA “super” bantamweight king.
He will be waiting for the winner between Naoya, the “regular” WBA bantamweight champion, and IBF titlist Emmanuel Rodriguez of Puerto Rico.
“Yes, nobody thought Donaire will go this far in the tournament. But he has rededicated himself and, with a little bit of luck, found himself in the finals of the tournament. He is likely to face the ‘Japanese Monster,’ Inoue, in the finals,” said boxing analyst Ed Tolentino.
Tolentino said the highly touted Inoue is favored to win the semifinals.
Known for his deadly knockout power, Inoue is already a 3-division champion with a 17-0 record. Fifteen of his opponents failed to reach the final round.
“Inoue will be the favorite (against Donaire), but he has not faced anybody with the experience and skill set of Donaire,” said Tolentino. “Majority of Inoue's victims fell partly because they were intimidated by the Monster's reputation. Donaire is facing a monster, indeed, but he will not cry wolf.”
To beat Inoue, Donaire will have to dig deep into his bag of tricks and rely on his ring savvy.
“Donaire has the boxing skill to tame the Monster, but he will have to be very patient and avoid being lured into a punch out with the Japanese,” said Tolentino.
For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website.