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    All set for June 7 grudge match between Inoue, Donaire

    Mar 31, 2022
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    IT’S going to be an even bigger war.

    Undefeated Japanese champion Naoya Inoue vowed to put up a great show when he faces Filipino rival Nonito Donaire Jr. in their rematch for the unified world bantamweight championship.

    The highly-anticipated return bout is set on June 7 in Saitama, Japan.

    The 12-round bout is dubbed the ‘Drama in Saitama,’ in the wake of their gripping November 2019 title fight also in the same Japanese prefecture where Inoue emerged victorious via unanimous decision but only after overcoming the best challenge yet in his career courtesy from the ‘Filipino Flash.’

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      “Expect a fight that goes beyond the previous match,” Inoue said on social media after the rematch was officially announced on Thursday (Manila time).

      Inoue, undefeated in 22 fights with 19 KOs, will enter the ring strapped in his WBA and IBF bantamweight titles, while Donaire is going to bring along with him his WBC crown as the oldest fighter to win the 118-pound division.

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      Donaire’s age showed up in his first meeting with Inoue after being dropped with a solid body shot in the 11th round, but managed to survive and finished the bout on his feet.

      Saitama brawl

      Inoue emerged the clear winner of the fight, but was left with a fractured orbital bone and a broken nose that kept him out of action for half a year.

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      The 28-year-old Japanese had since defended his titles three times following the Donaire match, disposing along the way Jason Moloney, Filipino Michael Dasmarinas, and Ara Dipaen to remain as the acknowledged best bantamweight fighter in the world today.

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        Donaire meanwhile, has silenced his critics who were quick to count him out following the loss to Inoue.

        He returned to the ring after almost a two-year hiatus and hardly showed any rust in a fourth round stoppage of champion Nordine Oubaali to wrest the WBC title belt, becoming the oldest to reign the division at age 38.

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        The Filipino later successfully retained his title with a fourth round knockout of countryman Reymart Gaballo.

        Donaire sports a 42-6 record with 28 KOs.

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