Naoya Inoue is known as “The Monster” for good reason.
When he met Nonito Donaire in November 2019, Inoue was genuinely tested for the first time in ESPN’s Fight of the Year. He defeated Donaire (42-7, 28 KOs) via unanimous-decision on that night, but 31 months later, Inoue made easy work of the future Hall of Famer.
Inoue (23-0, 20 KOs) floored Donaire with a sharp right hand in the closing seconds of their bantamweight title unification on Tuesday in Japan, and then dropped him again in Round 2.
A left hook from Inoue stunned Donaire, before the Japanese star trapped him in the corner and unleashed a barrage of punches that floored him a second time.
Donaire, 39, beat the count, but was in no shape to continue and the referee stopped the bout at 1:24 of the round.
With the victory, Inoue added a third 118-pound title and cemented himself as ESPN’s No. 2 pound-for-pound boxer.