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Nonito Donaire vs Naoya Inoue is BWAA 2019 Fight of the Year

/ 08:42 PM January 18, 2020
 Naoya Inoue vs Nonito Donaire

Naoya Inoue of Japan (R) and Nonito Donaire of Philippines (L) fight in their World Boxing Super Series bantamweight final at Saitama Super Arena in Saitama on November 7, 2019. (Photo by Kazuhiro NOGI / AFP)

MANILA, Philippines–Filipino star Nonito Donaire and undefeated Japanese champion Naoya Inoue delivered a fight to remember so much so that their super bantamweight showdown emerged as the best one in 2019.

The title unification bout won by Inoue via unanimous decision two months ago was voted the Muhammad Ali – Joe Frazier 2019 Fight of the Year by the Boxing Writers Association of America, as per the BWAA website.

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Inoue (19-0, 16 KOs) claimed the WBA (Super) title and retained his IBF crown in the World Boxing Super Series bantamweight final but not before overcoming his toughest test yet.

Naoya Inoue scores unanimous decision over Nonito Donaire for bantamweight crown

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Donaire, who had held world titles in four weight divisions, opened a cut above Inoue’s right eye in the second round but the Japanese, who also suffered a broken nose and a fractured orbital bone early in the bout, soldiered on and went on to land definitive blows throughout the fight.

The two warriors went back-and-forth particularly in the 11th round where they each had their defining moments of the fight. Inoue unleashed a body shot that knocked down Donaire (40-6, 26 KOs), who displayed great resolve and hurt his foe right back.

The other bouts considered for the award were Manny Pacquiao-Keith Thurman, Errol Spence Jr.-Shawn Porter, Gennady Golovkin-Sergiy Derevyanchenko, Andy Ruiz-Anthony Joshua and Josh Taylor-Regis Prograis.

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TAGS: 2019 Fight of the Year, Boxing, BWAA, Naoya Inoue, Nonito Donaire, super bantamweight, World Boxing Super Series
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