Given the way they waged war in their recent title unification, Nonito Donaire Jr. said he’s very much willing to fight Naoya Inoue again.
Donaire, seen as an underdog in the match, gave Inoue a monumental fight by taking the Japanese fighter to deeper waters in their World Boxing Super Series bantamweight tournament final Thursday.
Despite his effort, though, the Filipino Flash was forced to take a unanimous decision loss.
“If a rematch is on the table, let’s do it again,” Donaire said in an article on PhilBoxing.com.
“A lot of people are asking why not do a rematch? If it’s something the Inoue camp wants, it would be my honor to accept in a polite way. I think it would be a heck of a fight the second time around.”
Donaire nearly had the fight in the bag when he wobbled Inoue in the ninth round with successive overhand rights.
But Inoue came back in the 11th with a painful left hook to the body that floored Donaire.
“My mistake was I waited for the opportunity to finish him off when he was hurt,” said Donaire. “I should’ve created the opportunity instead and it cost me the fight.”
“The fight was close and the knockdown in the 11th round was crucial. Inoue threw a left, it grazed my elbow but hit me in the stomach just as I breathed in. It wasn’t a hard shot but the timing was just right,” he added.
Donaire said he was forced to take a knee to avoid getting swarmed by Inoue.
“I figured if I had fought on and stood, he would’ve pounced on me and one shot here or there could be damaging. It was a dangerous situation so I went down to recover from the shot. Then I got up and battled back,” he said.
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