Inoue vs Donaire: ‘Drama in Saitama’ wins WBN Fight of the Year 2019
World Boxing News can reveal this year’s winner in the race for WBN Fight of the Year 2019 – Naoya Inoue vs Nonito Donaire.
In a classic World Boxing Super Series final, Inoue and Donaire met fire-with-fire in what was an enthralling bout from start to finish.
Inoue took the spoils to once again prove his credentials as a boxing great of the times. Donaire, on the other hand, rolled back the years to earn a crack at the WBC title.
WBSS chiefs put together an exceptional tournament. More of which is hoped for in 2020.
Fight of the Year:
Joshua vs Ruiz I
Inoue vs Donaire
Spence vs Porter
FIGHT NIGHT REPORT
Nonito Donaire proved once again what an unbelievable servant to the sport he has been with a brilliant performance in defeat to Naoya Inoue.
During the whole World Boxing Super Series process, and throughout his career, Donaire has been a class act in and outside of the ring.
In the bantamweight final, Donaire proved a tough nut for Inoue to crack. This was despite ludicrous pre-fight predictions of an early blowout.
From the off, Donaire was hell-bent on disrupting the rhythm of Inoue. It was clear ‘The Filipino Flash’ wanted a war throughout.
The first four rounds were close before Inoue took control in the mid-rounds after making Donaire feel his power in the fifth.
But just as it seemed Inoue would coast to victory, Donaire came back. The 36-year-old rocked Inoue in the ninth round. For the first time, Inoue showed vulnerability.
He boasted a horrible gash on his eyelid and a busted nose into the bargain. The younger man proved too strong down the stretch.
Stunning Donaire in the tenth, Inoue turned the contest completely in his favor.
In the eleventh, a crunching body shot almost ended it as Donaire was forced to run a half-circle around the ring before taking a knee.
Getting up on the count of nine and three quarters, Donaire eeked out a decision in survival mode as true champions do.
On many occasions, Donaire proved Inoue can be hurt. The veteran erased the cloak of invincibility which the Japanese fighter, nicknamed ‘Monster’, took into the finale.
The encounter ended on the scorecards. And it was Inoue who claimed the coveted Ali Trophy 117-109, 116-111 and 114-113 with the judges.
AWARDS SO FAR:
Fighter of the Year – Manny Pacquiao (86% of the vote)
Fighter of the Decade – Floyd Mayweather
Fight of the Year: Naoya Inoue vs Nonito Donaire