CEBU CITY, Philippines – The Filipino Flash, Nonito Donaire Jr. lost his WBA Super World Bantamweight belt to the unbeaten Japanese prodigy Naoya Inoue in their Bantamweight WBA/IBF Unification Bout of the World Boxing Series Final, Thursday, Nov. 7, at the jampacked Saitama Super Arena in Japan.
Inoue who carried with him the IBF World Bantamweight title scored a unanimous decision 117-109, 116-111 and 114-113 to improve his undefeated streak to 19 wins with 16KOs while Donaire dropped to 40-6, 26KOs.
Although Inoue had clearly imposed his advantage in skills and youth, Donaire proved he was fiercer than ever when he fought toe-to-toe with the 26-year-old Japanese puncher. The scores of the ringside judges, especially the scorecard was acknowledged warmly by Cebuano boxing pundits except the 117-109.
Cebuano boxing fans felt Rodriguez should have scored it better. The fight was a haymaker from the start with Inoue taking advantage of his youth to punish Donaire who was 10 years older.
The Filipino 5-time champ however displayed huge heart and ring experience to keep the Japanese slugger on his toe. Inoue boosted his score when he dropped Donaire midway to the 11th round with a vicious right on the body
It seems that Donaire was gone, but the warrior him just won’t give up, as he beat the count when he was back on his feet at the count on nine. American Roberto Hoyle was the judge who penned 114-113 and Luigi Boscarelli scored the 116-111 tally. RCM