Pros react with awe at Inoue’s rematch destruction of Donaire


Naoya Inoue put an exclamation mark on his rematch with Nonito Donaire today in Saitama, Japan, stopping the Hall of Fame-bound legend in just two rounds to unify the WBC, WBA, and IBF bantamweight titles.

Inoue (23-0, 20 KO) was all “Monster” in this one, dropping Donaire (42-7, 28 KO) with an excellent right hand late in the first round, before pouncing and taking Donaire apart in the second frame. Donaire was knocked down a second time, and referee Michael Griffin made the decision to step in and stop the fight at 1:24 of round two.

It was a truly exhilarating sort of performance from the 29-year-old Inoue, who may have impressed more than ever. Donaire may be 39, but he’d been excellent in his last two fights, was without question the No. 2 bantamweight in the world, and went a brutal and thrilling 12 rounds with Inoue the first time around.

This one was a different story, leaving us all somewhat in awe, and that includes fellow fighters.

Here’s what some of the pros had to say:

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