MANILA – Filipino boxer Nonito Donaire Jr. is confident of pulling off the improbable when he faces Japanese Naoya Inoue in the bantamweight unification world title fight tonight at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan.
At stake in the bout is the Filipino fighter’s World Boxing Association (WBA) championship as well as the Japanese knockout artist’s International Boxing Federation (IBF) world title.
While he knows that he is the underdog in this clash, Donaire said he has his game plan in stunning Inoue in front of the Japanese crowd.
The match serves as culmination of the World Boxing Super Series.
“I’m very excited. It’s a great honor to be fighting Inoue in Japan,” Donaire said. “I have big respect for him, he looks ready, but that’s what we expect. I’m relaxed right now.”
He added: “I am taller but height doesn’t matter, size doesn’t matter. Ultimately it’s about the game plan, and I believe I have the game plan to beat Inoue. And my experience will carry me through.”
Inoue, for his part, is also cautious despite being predicted to win the world title clash. He knows Donaire is a tough opponent with the latter being a four-division world boxing champion.
“Nonito’s only advantage is his experience, he has been in many big fights. He is taller and his reach is longer,” Inoue said. “The only thing I need to do is making myself 100 percent and show everything that I have in the ring.”
The 36-year-old Donaire is entering the match with an impressive 40-5-0 win-loss-draw ring record, including 26 stoppage wins, while the 26-year-old Inoue will parade his untarnished 18-0-0 card with 16 wins by knockout./PN