Naoya Inoue and Nonito Donaire head-to-head at Japan WBSS press conference
Naoya Inoue and Nonito Donaire have met the press for the first time since their World Boxing Super Series final was scheduled for Nov. 7 at the Super Arena in Saitama, Japan.
Inoue will defend his Ring Magazine and IBF bantamweight belts against former four-weight world titleholder and reigning WBA counterpart Donaire in a potentially explosive unification showdown.
In his semi-final bout, which took place in May, Inoue stopped the previously unbeaten Emmanuel Rodriguez in two rounds.
“I can’t wait for the final,” said Inoue (18-0, 16 knockouts). “Donaire is to me a legend in the sport of boxing, and I am honored to be sharing the ring with him in the final. But I will do my very best to win against the legend to claim the Ali trophy.”
Donaire, who israted No. 3 by The Ring at bantamweight, is coming off a devastating one-punch knockout of American Stephon Young (replacement for an injured Zolani Tete) in his own semi-final in April.
“Inoue has always supported me in this tournament and we have an unspoken thing that we wanted to face each other,” said Donaire (40-5, 26 KOs).
“I am looking forward to the final in Japan and a great fight. I have fought several world champions, and I will come well-prepared. Inoue is an amazing fighter, but I saw flaws in his semi-final, and I think I can definitely create a game plan against him and win the Ali trophy.”
The bout will be broadcast live by DAZN in the U.S.
Tom Gray is Associate Editor for The Ring. Follow him on Twitter: @Tom_Gray_Boxing