Both Naoya Inoue and Nonito Donaire have their fathers in the corner in tonight’s WBSS Bantamweight Ali Trophy final at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan. Donaire Sr. breaks down his son’s chances.
There is no ‘Monster’ without Shingo Inoue, no ‘Filipino Flash’ without Nonito Donaire Sr. They are fathers and trainers who have guided their sons to become the best in the world.
Nonito Donaire Sr. told he is ‘happy to be back in the mix’ after teaming up with head coach Kenny Adams in the build-up to his son’s WBSS final in the Land of the Rising Sun.
“It’s going to be exciting, Nonito is really motivated for this fight,“ said Donaire Sr., a former amateur boxer, and added: “He’s been knocking down sparring partners in training camp.
Donaire Jr. wrote ‘My dad and I have been at this for 26 years now. We got this!’ with a picture of the Donaire duo posted on social media, and Sr. approves the message:
“Nonito is smart, he is experienced and he knows how to hit you,” said the father-trainer who have led his son to win world championships in three separate weight classes.
“If Nonito lands his punches man, he’ll win. I see the final as 60-40 in Nonito’s favour. The key is not to get hit because you don’t know what happens if you get hit with a good shot from someone like Inoue.”
Donaire Sr. has trained the 36-year-old four-division titleholder for over a quarter of a decade, and he believes there is still a lot of flashes left in the Filipino tank.
“He is not drinking or anything, and he hasn’t been hit much. He is healthy and is not having any serious injuries. He still looks young to me.”
Donaire Jr. opened up the tournament with a fourth-round stoppage win over Ryan Burnett, who was forced to quit due to a lower back injury. He followed it up with a sixth-round knockout of replacement Stephon Young, who stepped in for injured Zolani Tete, in the semi-final. Now he is facing the ‘Monster’ in the WBSS Bantamweight Ali Trophy Final with the WBA ‘Super’, IBF & Ring Magazine World titles on the line, live via DAZN in the U.S. and Sky Sports in the UK.
Muhammad Ali Trophy champions:
2017-18: Aleksandr Usyk, Cruiserweight
2017-18: Callum Smith, Super Middleweight
2018-19: Josh Taylor, Super-Lightweight