A Japanese 26-year-old is set for superstardom after winning millions of dollars in a career-defining battle against Nonito Donaire
- Naoya Inoue just beat Nonito Donaire in a technically brilliant World Boxing Super Series final on Thursday.
- Donaire thumped Inoue with punches so hard he had double-vision from round two onwards, a bloody nose, and a horrible gash on his eyelid.
- But Inoue overcame it all to put Donaire on the floor in the 11th, before winning a unanimous decision on the judges' scorecards.
- Inoue wins the Muhammad Ali trophy, millions of dollars, and was then a confirmed signing at Top Rank, a massive promotional organization headquartered in Las Vegas.
- Watch fight highlights below.
- Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
Naoya Inoue has hit the big time.The 26-year-old Japanese boxer just outhustled the all-time great Filipino fighter Nonito Donaire in a back-and-forth battle for the ages at the Super Arena in Saitama, Japan, on Thursday.
Inoue had to overcome a nasty tear on his eyelid which leaked blood into his eye and a beaten nose that bled profusely during the bout, to grind out a gutsy victory over Donaire, a former four-weight world champion destined for the Hall of Fame.It was a passing-of-the-torch fight similar to Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko's blockbuster heavyweight duel in 2017, when the younger Joshua had to pass a tough test to beat the older, more accomplished warrior, whose own stock rose despite the defeat.
Donaire, the defeated fighter this time around, gave Inoue plenty of things to think about but it is a credit to the younger boxer that he was able to adjust his gameplan and assert his own dominance during key exchanges.Donaire landed a potentially jaw-denting straight right in the ninth round but Inoue showed great recuperative ability to ride out the effects of the blow and evade the onslaught that followed.It was Inoue who landed the punch of the night, though. In the penultimate round, it appeared like Donaire was in no fit state to continue after taking a bodyshot that pained him so greatly he ran around the edge of the ring, grimacing, before dropping to the canvas on his knees to buy some time and take the count.
Somehow, Donaire got back to his feet.
Watch it all unfold here:Inoue won ringside judges' scores of 116-111, 117-109, and 114-113.
"I had double vision since the second round, but I was victorious and I am very proud of myself," Inoue said in the ring after the fight, on the Sky Sports broadcast. "I believe that I have a bright future … Nonito Donaire was very, very strong. I think Donaire is a true champion."
Read more:Photos of Josh Taylor's horrific eye injury show how gruelling and unforgiving boxing can be, even when you win
- Tesla launches new social engagement platform 'Engage Tesla' for both public policy team and owner's clubs
- IndiGrid inks largest transmission deal with Sterlite Power
- Araku Valley, an idyllic weekend getaway spot in the north-eastern corner of Andhra Pradesh
- US adds 379,000 jobs in February, say Labour Department report
- SBI, Canara Bank and United India to reimburse COVID-19 vaccine cost