Nonito Donaire, Naoya Inoue rematch targeted for April in Japan | Inquirer Sports

Nonito Donaire, Naoya Inoue rematch targeted for April in Japan

By: - Reporter / @MarkGiongcoINQ
/ 04:03 PM January 19, 2022

Nonito Donaire

FILE – Nonito Donaire of Philippines (L) and Naoya Inoue of Japan 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—The long-awaited rematch between Nonito Donaire and Naoya Inoue is currently in the works.

Probellum CEO Richard Schaefer, who’s been in talks with Inoue’s promoter Akihiko Honda of Teiken Promotions, said the bantamweight unification bout is being targeted for April in Japan.


“This is definitely a fight we would love to do and Nonito would love to have it as well. We don’t have a problem going to Japan. Donaire has the balls to go into the lion’s den again. This is one of the biggest fights you can make in the sport,” said Schaefer in an interview with


“I can’t speak on behalf of Inoue, but I know that’s the fight he wants as well. I’ve always believed that when there is a big fight to be made, you make it—and this is a big fight. I am going to exhaust every resource and will not leave any stone unturned to pull off this fight. This is what Nonito and the fight fans want. We as a sport need to deliver it. I believe we’ll get it done.”

Donaire and Inoue produced a classic slugfest with the Japanese champion overcoming a broken nose and fractured orbital bone to win on points.

The clash was hailed Fight of the Year in 2019.

“Both guys have only gotten bigger since that fight, and probably even better, which is interesting to say especially in regard to Nonito,” said Schaefer.

After losing his WBA (Super) title to Inoue, Donaire (42-6, 28KOs) quickly got back on track and regained world champion status by knocking out Frenchman Nordine Oubaali to win the WBC belt last May.

The 39-year-old Donaire followed that up with another fourth-round knockout, this time, over fellow Filipino Reymart Gaballo in December.


Inoue (22-0, 19KOs), meanwhile, continued his dominance in the division with a pair of knockout victories over Jason Moloney and Filipino Michael Dasmariñas and stopping unheralded Thai Aran Dipaen.

Aside from Inoue, Donaire also has other options with compatriot and WBO titleholder John Riel Casimero one of them, according to Schaefer.

He could also challenge undefeated two-belt champion Stephen Fulton at 122 pounds.

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“There are different opportunities in and around those weight classes,” said Schaefer.

TAGS: Naoya Inoue, Nonito Donaire

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