MANILA -- Nonito Donaire fell short in his gallant stand against undefeated Japanese Naoya Inoue and lost in the bantamweight final of the World Boxing Super Series in Japan on Thursday night.
Donaire actually had a shot at stunning his unbeaten opponent in front of a sold-out crowd at the Super Arena in Saitama after his left hook opened a cut at Inoue's right eye area in Round 2, slowing down the Japanese in the next two rounds.
However, Inoue came alive again in the middle rounds, and despite Donaire appearing to have bounced back in Rounds 8 and 9, Inoue quickly recovered and delivered a critical body shot to Donaire in Round 11 that sent the Filipino down.
Donaire still tried to recover after the knockdown but a bit too late.
All three judges had it for Inoue, who moved up to 19-0, in contrasting scorecards (116-111, 117-109, 114-113).
Aside from winning the WBSS tournament, Inoue also took Donaire's World Boxing Association bantamweight super title while keeping the International Boxing Federation and Ring Magazine belts.
Donaire fell to 40-6 in his already illustrious career. (PNA)