LOOKS like there’s going to be a get-together among the world’s bantamweight champions in Las Vegas over the weekend.
Reigning World Boxing Council (WBC) title holder Nonito Donaire travelled all the way to Sin City and will watch unified champ Naoya Inoue of Japan defend his International Boxing Federation (IBF) and World Boxing Association (WBA) version of the 118-pound crown against mandatory Filipino challenger Michael Dasmarinas at Virgin Hotel on Sunday (Manila time).
Also expected to attend is World Boxing Organization (WBO) champion Johnriel Casimero, who arrived in Las Vegas last week for the start of training camp of his title defense against Guillermo Rigondeaux on August 14.
Donaire and Inoue had a chance meeting Friday during the final presser for the Japanese’s title defense against Dasmarinas.
The 28-year-old Inoue acknowledged Donaire upon seeing his former Filipino opponent, approached him and exchanged fist bumps with the 38-year-old warrior. The two then gladly posed for photos for mediamen.
At one point, Inoue playfully tried to snatch the WBC belt of Donaire, which the ‘Filipino Flash’ took away from the reach of the unbeaten Japanese.
How about a Donaire-Inoue grudge match?
Someone then asked if fans are going to see them fight again in the ring, Donaire answered with a resounding yes.
“Are we going to see a rematch?” the two were asked, to which the Filipino replied, “Yes! Yes!”
Inoue (20-0, 17 KOs) and Donaire (41-6, 27 KOs) met in November of 2019 in a unification match in Saitama, Japan.
Donaire lost that fight via unanimous decision as he went down in the ninth round following a left hook to the body by the Japanese. But the Filipino gave Inoue his toughest test yet as he bloodied the unbeaten champion and left him with a fractured orbital bone and a broken nose.
But the veteran fighter from Talibon, Bohol was quick to put himself back in the discussion for a rematch with Inoue after wresting the WBC belt last month from Frenchman Nordine Oubaali, who Donaire destroyed in just four rounds.
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