Naoya Inoue had to go through serious trouble to defeat Nonito Donaire in the WBSS bantamweight final to win the Ali Trophy.
Nonito Donaire actually made Inoue work harder with his dangerous and hard shots, rocked and bloodied the Japanese in the ninth but that wasn’t enough, as Inoue fought through it, dropped the Veteran and was able to take home a unanimous decision victory in their 12-round WBSS 118-pound final at Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan.
The still unbeaten Inoue (19-0, 16 KOs) Unified the WBA “Super” Bantamweight title to his IBF Bantamweight title after securing the victory with scores (116-111) from judge Luigi Boscarelli, (117-109) from Octavio Rodriguez and the closest 114-113 from Robert Hoyle, who gave Inoue the win due to the 11th round Knock down.
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Inoue was taken the distance for the first time in eight fights by the veteran four division champion Donaire, who was so excellent for a fighter of his age and drew praises from the young fighter.
“I think Donaire is a true champion,” Inoue told announcer Ray Flores in the ring. “He’s very strong. I [was] victorious, but I’m not the greatest all time yet. I think I have to go over [the fight] and get stronger. Next year and on, I’ll keep fighting, I’ll [be] victorious and I wanna be the strongest of all time”