It wasn't the one-sided beatdown by Naoya Inoue that many had predicted, but boxing fans and pundits got something better: a modern bantamweight classic between Inoue and Nonito Donaire.
The highly anticipated Nonito Donaire Jnr vs Naoya Inoue WBSS bantamweight finals for the WBA/IBF unification championship at the Super Arena in Saitama, Japan will start soon as the fighters have begun the pre-fight rituals.
The younger Inoue controlled the action for most of the fight and certainly, poured it on in the final rounds to capture an easy victory.More news: Oakland County reports 1st flu death of season
What followed for the last three rounds was Inoue not only taking control of the fight, but also scoring his first knockdown of the fight.
However, Donaire rallied opening up a nasty gash over Inoue's his right eye in the eighth round and also causing him to bleed from the nose. Inoue landed several more significant punches but Donaire survived until the final bell. Donaire then staggered Naoya Inoue with a big left hand in the ninth round, but Inoue smartly used his head movement to avoid any further trouble.
Donaire is a four-weight champion himself, who has never suffered a loss in this weight class, and he benefited from the unfortunate fourth-round retirement of Belfast's Ryan Burnett in the quarter-finals before stopping Stephon Young in the semis.More news: Supreme Court to pronounce verdict on Ayodhya dispute tomorrow
Whoever wins will take home the prestigious Muhammad Ali Trophy, as well as $1 million.
This 118-lb clash will serve as the finals of the World Boxing Super Series, a tournament featuring the world's finest bantamweights. And, he stated the obvious, that it was the toughest fight he had ever been in in his career.More news: Megyn Kelly teases interview with ABC News Epstein whistleblower