MANILA – Naoya Inoue solidified his claim as the top bantamweight boxer in the world as he beat Nonito Donaire in their rematch at the Saitama Super Arena on Tuesday night.
Playing in front of his Japanese fans, Inoue, now 23-0 in his outstanding professional career, retained his World Boxing Association, International Boxing Federation, and Ring Magazine titles while also taking Donaire's World Boxing Council belt.
Unlike in their first meeting where Donaire pushed Inoue to the limit, the latter caught the former late into Round 1 and scored a knockdown with only 10 seconds left in the round.
Donaire would stand up after the knockdown and even tagged Inoue with some left hooks early into Round 2.
However, Inoue connected with a hook of his own that wobbled Donaire, signaling that a knockout is becoming imminent.
Moments later, Inoue caught Donaire with another power punch that knocked him down again, and the referee decided to call it a night at the 1:24 mark of the second round.
The 29-year-old Inoue scored the 20th finish of his professional career.
The 38-year-old Donaire, on the other hand, fell to 42-7 as the future of his career entered some uncertainties with this stoppage loss. (PNA)