Japanese champ who idolized Donaire says he won’t be starstruck in title fight


Posted at Oct 31 2019 10:24 PM

Naoya Inoue of Japan acknowledged mimicking some of Nonito Donaire Jr. ’s moves when he was just starting out as a pro fighter.

Inoue, who will fight Donaire in the World Boxing Super Series bantamweight final on Nov. 7, has worked with Donaire.

“I have been watching Donaire throughout his career and was stealing his moves when I was starting out in boxing. I have a lot of respect for Donaire, I have idolized him and that’s why he was the one I wanted to fight the most in this tournament,” Inoue said in an article on Philboxing.com.

But the youthful Japanese champion said he will not be starstruck when they get in the ring.
“Now it’s time for a change of generations,” said the 26-year-old Inoue, who is 10 years younger than Donaire.

At stake in the bout is the Muhammad Ali trophy. The fight will also serve as a title unification wherein Donaire will be staking his WBA "super" bantamweight crown while Inoue will be putting in his IBF and The Ring bantamweight titles.

“I’m prepared to fight for 12 rounds with Nonito Donaire, but if I see an opening, I will aim for a knockout,” said Inoue. 

“I entered this tournament to prove I am the best bantamweight in the world. I’m in great condition and on November 7, I will show the best performance of my career to win the Ali Trophy.” 

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