I’d like to start off this review by saying that I think the World boxing super series is the best thing to happen to the sport in a while. This year alone their finals have created two fight of the year contenders and also established a number one in every division they’ve held a tournament in. As a fan I enjoy watching tournaments and I also like watching the best versus the best which is what the World boxing super series brings to us again and again. They’ve had some issues with funding this season so I hope with them showing their events on Sky Sports in the UK that’s sorted out and they continue doing their tournaments.
This fight exceeded expectations , before the fight most people were predicting Inoue to get the job done in the first 6 rounds due to his youth speed and freakish power what actually happened was both showing that they really are the best of the best. I have to state that I felt it was disrespectful to Donaire who in my eyes is guaranteed a future hall of fame spot for people to be predicting him to be Ko’d in 2 or 3 rounds. Donaire deserves more respect than that and if Inoue did manage to pull that off I don’t think he would have got the credit he deserved for that sort of victory.
Donaire unlike most Inoue opponents was on the front foot bringing the fight to Inoue and willing to trade blow for blow. In my eyes at least this shows just how much of a warrior Donaire is that’s hes willing to go blow for blow with one of the biggest punchers in the sport right now. Not only that but I felt that for a lot of the fight when he landed clean it effected Inoue more than when Inoue hit him. This doesn’t mean he punches harder in this case I think its more thats hes the much more experienced fighter and is used to fighting big punchers at bigger weight classes also that Donaire really has an all time great chin. The way he was able to walk through the fire of Inoue’s accurate and devastating punches was quite frankly heroic meanwhile always throwing back with intent. After the first 4 rounds I had the fight even with Inoue starting to find his range and timing while Donaire showed he doesn’t just have his iconic left hook as he was repeatedly landing big right hands.
As the fight progressed Both Donaire and Inoue were hurt and showed the heart to come through and keep firing back. In the 9th round Donaire landed one of the cleanest right hands I’ve seen all year and Inoue took it. It clearly hurt him but he recovered quickly as Donaire went looking for the finish almost landing a massive uppercut that surely would have put Inoue down and perhaps even out. Donaire didn’t get to wild just took his opportunity while Inoue was hurt to try and finish the fight and when he realized he was recovered went back to educated pressure forcing Inoue back.
This fight had so many ebbs and flows and in the 10th and 11th rounds Inoue showed hes a true champion by digging in and turning the tide back to him when it looked like Donaire was going to come on strong with his championship experience. In the 11th round Inoue landed a bodyshot that i’m not sure most fully grown grizzly bears would get up from and it showed in Donaire’s face as he half jogged away from Inoue before taking a knee. The ref stood between Inoue and Donaire before he went down presuming that Donaire had been hit with a low blow. If he hadn’t done this then Inoue may have been able to finish him off but we’ll never know. Donaire somehow got up from that body shot and then in true warrior fashion went and hurt Inoue to make him back off so he could see the round out.
The twelfth and final round Inoue was more dominant but Donaire never stopped going for it because there’s no quit in him. Inoue showed that he has a chin made from titanium or at the very least granite , this fight also showed us that hes got the heart and desire to get him through hard fights and these 12 hard rounds will serve him well in the future. I especially liked that after he hit Donaire with clean shots in the early rounds and he didn’t go down that he was able to revert back to just boxing to win which many big punchers aren’t able to do. Inoue won on the scorecards 116-111 114-113 and 117-109. For me this was Inoue’s most impressive performance because it showed us that he can dig deep and compete for 12 hard rounds especially against his hardest opponent to date in Donaire. They always say that theirs life in the old dog yet and Donaire proved that by pushing Inoue to the absolute limits , I’d like him to retire on the high of this fight because I feel that this is probably his last great performance and I don’t want to see him decline after this however at the same time he showed he can still compete at the highest level so who am I to say he should retire off of one of the best performances of his career.
I’d like to see Inoue in with Nordine Oubaali next in a 3 belt unification. This fight should be quite easy to make as Inoue has signed with Top Rank and Oubaali is is with MTK and they both work with each other all the time. If not Oubaali then the winner of Casimero-Tete for another unification. I think its more likely a mandatory is enforced on him from the IBF and that’ll be his next fight but we’ll see.
This is currently my fight of the year because of the back and forth action and ebb and flow over 12 rounds between two masters of the sport. The grit and determination showed by these two warriors is incredible and can be a real inspiration in our normal life’s that you can push through adversity and to never give up. I can’t wait to watch Inoue fight again and I also wish luck to Donaire on whatever he does next whether he hangs the gloves up or not he has nothing left to prove and is in my eyes already in the hall of fame.