Donaire on opponent Inoue: ‘My heart is bigger than his punches‘

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 02 2022 06:34 AM | Updated as of Jun 02 2022 09:41 AM

Nonito Donaire reacts after a fourth round knockout win over Reymart Gaballo for the WBC World Bantamweight Championship at Dignity Health Sports Park on December 11, 2021 in Carson, California. Harry How, Getty Images/AFP
Nonito Donaire reacts after a fourth round knockout win over Reymart Gaballo for the WBC World Bantamweight Championship at Dignity Health Sports Park on December 11, 2021 in Carson, California. Harry How, Getty Images/AFP

WBC bantamweight champion Nonito Donaire Jr. believes Japanese knockout artist Naoya Inoue might get frustrated when they meet again this month for a title unification bout.

The "Filipino Flash," who got outpointed during their initial face-off in 2019, has a stronger motivation going to their rematch this June 7 in Saitama, Japan.
 
“My heart is bigger than his punches,” Donaire said in an article posted on BoxingScene.com

In their first fight, Donaire broke Inoue's nose and orbital bone during a brutal exchange. But the Filipino-American fell short when he got tagged with a crippling body shot in Round 11. 

Even so, Donaire still managed to finish the bout with later declared as the 2019 Fight of the Year.

“I was hurt, the guy can punch, but obviously my heart is bigger than his punches. I have to say the same thing for him, but this time it’s just different. It’s a different fight, different mentality. But the thing is, I’m willing to go far and beyond to gain victory,” Donaire said.

He said the first match somehow awakened him and rejuvenated his boxing career. 

“After all those years as a fighter, following the fight with Inoue felt like an awakening, like: ‘Hey, what have I been doing all these years?!” Donaire said.

“I have just been floating. And somehow, some way, I have awakened that fight in me, and I’ve been trying hard since then and I am very, very confident of defeating Inoue."

Donaire will be challenging and Inoue for the IBF and WBA titles.

“In this fight I am very, very confident because of this level of mindset that I have. When I first fought him, I was like: ‘Ok, I’m back at 118lbs let’s just try and push him back and brawl with him’ but this time I am coming back with different kinds of strategies and this mindset I have,” he said.