Donaire has secret plan for Inoue
By Joaquin Henson
Sun, 27 Oct 2019
Super WBA bantamweight champion Nonito Donaire, Jr. is keeping his gameplan for Naoya Inoue close to his chest and the only thing he’ll disclose is it’s a perfect antidote for the Japanese when they clash in the World Boxing Super Series (WBSS) final at the Super Saitama Arena on Nov. 7.
Donaire, 36, is in town for the final stage of his training and works out at the UFC Gym in Alabang. He arrived last Sunday and is sparring with Bebot Elorde’s fighters Glenn Medura and Jun Blazo. His father Dodong takes care of the punch-mitts. Donaire and his traveling party, including wife Rachel, their children Jarel and Logan, mother-in-law Becky Marcial and father, will leave for Japan on Wednesday. Chief trainer Kenny Adams will join Donaire in Japan.
“I’m not in the habit of watching my opponents on film,” said Donaire. “Kenny and my dad have studied Inoue closely, looking for tendencies, breaking down his style. I’d rather wait for fight night. That’s when I’ll see what he’s really got and I’ll do what it takes to win. I’ll fight smart, that’s my edge. My experience will carry me through.”
Donaire said something must be bothering Inoue for him to recently divulge to media that he’s preparing to go 12 rounds. “He knows I’ve got tremendous power and it’s making him re-think his options,” said the Filipino Flash. “Inoue has idolized me for years and people say he does a lot of things I do. If he plans to box, that’s not Inoue. Offense is his go-to thing. He’s aggressive, he goes all out, targets the body, throws a lot of punches. He has a good arsenal. Fighters don’t change. They do what they’re used to. I’m expecting Inoue to attack because that’s his style.”
Defense isn’t Inoue’s strong suit and Donaire said it’s a weakness. He didn’t elaborate how he intends to exploit the weakness but he’ll likely counter and time his shots when Inoue’s defense opens up as he flails away. “Offense is his defense,” said Donaire.
Inoue, 26, has hired Filipino fighters Albert Pagara and Genesis Servania as his sparmates. Pagara was recently quoted in Japanese media as saying Inoue has more power and speed and better footwork than Donaire, considering he’s sparred with both. Donaire said he’ll let his fists do the talking in the ring.
Donaire said he’s on track to make weight. He’s now at 128 and trimming down to 118 isn’t a problem. “I’m more focused than ever before,” he said. “I’m excited about this fight. So is my team. I’m confident.”
Inoue has faced three Filipinos so far and knocked out Crison Omayao, Jerson Mancio and Warlito Parrenas. As an amateur in Jakarta in 2011, he decisioned ABAP fighter Ian Clark Bautista, 23-10, in the President’s Cup final. His amateur record was 75-6, with 48 KOs and RSCs. As a pro, Inoue’s slate is 18-0, with 16 KOs. Only Ryoichi Taguchi in 2013 and David Carmona in 2016 have gone the distance with Inoue who is called The Monster. Inoue has won world titles in the lightflyweight, superflyweight and bantamweight divisions.
Donaire’s record is 40-5, with 26 KOs. He’s 10 years older than Inoue but in his view, that translates into an advantage with more experience. He has claimed world crowns in the flyweight, superflyweight (interim), bantamweight, superbantamweight and featherweight divisions. Donaire is featured in an upcoming book on the 50 greatest Filipino athletes with other boxers Sen. Manny Pacquiao, Flash Elorde, Donnie Nietes, Onyok Velasco and Gerry Penalosa.
Click here to view a list of other articles written by Joaquin Henson.
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