“We came here with a good plan and [I’m in] tremendous shape. I’ve never been in that shape in my entire life,” said the 39-year-old Donaire shortly after the unification rematch last June 7 at the Saitama Super Arena in Japan. “It’s just the implementation of the game plan. I got so caught up in wanting to brawl and that’s my biggest flaw.
“I loved brawling and it’s hard for me to go and change that overnight. That was the biggest mistake I did. But it’s a learning experience,” added the four-division world boxing champion.
As Inoue punished Donaire with powerful hooks in the second round, the “Filipino Flash” retaliated with hooks of his own but did little to no damage to the Japanese “Monster.”
Inoue, who also won in their first encounter last November 2019, went beast mode and landed a lethal left hook at the 1:51 mark that certainly stunned Donaire.
The Zama, Kanagawa native boxer stayed sharp and did not waste any chances as he unloaded a vicious combination to send Donaire down the canvas as referee Michael Griffin stopped the match at the 1:24 mark.
“We had a great game plan using the jab, using the feint, moving around. Unfortunately, a brawler’s gonna brawl. That’s just a part of me. I was in there,” said Donaire, who slipped to a 42-7 record with 28 knockouts.
Inoue, for his part, said the first round exchange in the first round, especially when he endured a solid left hook from Donaire, lit the fire inside him.
This enabled Inoue to went on a rampage as he knocked down Donaire with a hefty right hand on the temple with 10 seconds to spare.
The 29-year-old Japanese superstar believed his timing was on point and went in the zone after the fiery exchange.
“It was my timing,” said Inoue, who remained unscathed in 23 matches built on 20 KOs. “But to be able to reach my status at the top, I need to win this fight. I just decided to make this fight finished at this moment.” ###
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