After loss, Donaire borrows Ali trophy from Inoue to fulfill promise to his sons
MANILA, Philippines—Nonito Donaire may have lost to Naoya Inoue in the bantamweight finals of the World Boxing Super Series but he made sure to fulfill the promise he made to his sons.
In a lengthy Instagram post, Donaire said that he had told his sons he’d bring back the Muhammad Ali trophy after his unification bout against Inoue for the WBA Super and IBF World bantamweight belts but he failed to officially claim the hardware.
Nevertheless, Donaire asked Inoue to lend him the trophy to which the Japanese champion humbly obliged.
“I came to Japan to take the Muhammad Ali trophy. I promised my sons they would see it in the morning,” said Donaire in the post. “And with tears in my eyes, I hiumly asked Inoue to borrow it for a night, not for me but for my word.”
“It’ll be a life lesson my boys will learns soon, that you do your best and you come short. You will win. You will lose. But in either aspect you will do so graciously.”
Donaire (40-6) lost via unanimous decision against Inoue (19-0) but earned the respect of the boxing community for showing up and putting on a valiant display against “The Monster.”
Despite being 10 years older and being told that he’s past his prime, Donaire put on a show worthy of his future Hall of Fame induction.
Former unified light heavyweight champion Andre Ward praised Donaire for his fight against Inoue, who’s the no.4 pound-for-pound boxer in The Ring rankings.
“Much respect to my friend and brother Nonito Donaire, he’s had a great career and put up a good fight but came up short,” said Ward. “Naoya Inoue the ‘Monster’ is a problem for anybody at 118 pounds and maybe 122 lbs as well. Congrats!” tweeted Ward.
Champions and former ones also gave props to Donaire with the likes of Jorge linares, Badou Jack, and Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzales congratulating and wishing the Filipino-American good fortunes.
“They’ll see a trophy we don’t get to take home and understand what it means to train harder,” said Donaire. “I told about the battle I fought. I’d rather put my life on that shield than give up. And that we will always fight.”