FABULOUS (Definition):1.-of an incredible, astonishing, or exaggerated nature. 2.-Texceptionally good or unusual.
The previous adjective is applied to everything (person, animal, thing) with the characteristics of marvelous, fantastic, excessive, unbelievable… But this note has nothing to do with the etymology of the words, in this case «fabulous» is the word we want to use to define a Japanese boxer named Naoya Inoue, «The Monster», current bantamweight 118 lbs. champion of the World Boxing Association, the International Boxing Federation and The Ring magazine, to which he added the World Boxing Council title last Tuesday with a dazzling and resounding demonstration of his class against Nonito Donaire.
We use the word «fabulous» today, without exaggeration and without hesitation, because the general opinion among the connoisseurs is that Inoue is the most complete fighter of the moment and that he deserves to be ranked No. 1 among the top 10 boxers.
On Tuesday, at the Saitama Super Arena, Inoue mashed Donaire in front of some 30,000 fans, most of whom cheered the 29-year-old fighter on his way to the ring and raised their cheers as he exchanged punches with the 39-year-old fighter, with whom he had fought 2 years and 7 months ago on the same stage and won by UD. After a little more than 2′ of exchanges of blows, a powerful right straight from the champion took the challenger to the canvas. The Tagalog got up precariously, dazed, but luckily for him the bell came to his aid.
However, as soon as the second round began, Inoue did not wait long. He unleashed a barrage of punches with Donaire evidently powerless to respond to the onslaught and tried to escape to the ropes, but a relentless Inoue chased him down and punched him again with a barrage of rights and lefts in hooks, uppercuts, of all types. Donaire collapsed for the second time in the short bout, as the unanimous cheers of the crowd echoed through the packed house.
Bravely, yet clearly mortally wounded, Donaire tried to get to his feet and half succeeded, not knowing where he was.
Then the third man in the ring, Canadian Michael Griffin, mercifully stepped in and ended the lopsided contest at one minute and 24 seconds. It was the 23rd unbeaten victory for Inoue, who has knocked out 20 since he started professionally in 2012- Donaire stood at 42-7-0, 28 by KO.
Let’s now take a step back in time to recall that Inoue won their first scuffle in November 2019 after 12 violent rounds in a fight in which, despite the intimate exhilaration of the win, he left the ring with a right eye injury and fractured right eye socket. He was helped by a knockdown of Donaire in the 10th, a decisive knockdown for the judgment of the three judges, who gave cards of 116-111, 114-112 and 117-109.
The fight was distinguished as the best of the year by ESPN and The Ring. That was a hard-fought triumph for the «Monster,» who in a career that began in 2012 has also been champion in the mini fly and super fly divisions, with a first title won in his sixth professional outing.
Haney in history
In another important card last Saturday (Saturday 4 in the Western Hemisphere, Sunday 5 in Australia), American Devin Haney, the WBC lightweight king, earned a distinguished place in boxing by becoming at 23 years of age the youngest unified champion in history because of his victory over previously undefeated Australian George Kambosos Jr. to whom he snatched the World Boxing Association (WBA), International Boxing Federation (IBF) and World Boxing Organization (WBO) super champion belts.
The fight was staged at the Marvel Docklands Stadium in Melbourne, Australia and was witnessed on site by 41,119 people, a record for modern boxing in the country, a crowd that left the venue saddened by the unexpected setback of his compatriot, who was defending his belts for the first time.
Kambosos had a puzzling performance against Haney. He was never able to solve the difficulties the latter caused him with his blazing jab, keeping the challenger at bay and frustrated. Haney was slightly favored and cruised to victory without much difficulty, as we have said, and in the end the judges gave him the victory with scores of 116-112, 118-110 and 116-112.
The fight did not offer exciting passages to remember. It was a tedious passing of rounds with Haney always taking advantage of his greater speed, with the jab as an obstacle to Kambosos’ attempts to shorten the distance, bewildered, powerless and unable to stop the enemy, who with his victory put his record at 28-0-15 KO.
The crowning of the young fighter seems to have opened the door for a bout with the unbeaten knockout and for many the best 135 current, the American Gervonta Davis (27-0-0, 25 KO’s), even if first it would be necessary to elucidate the already announced by the media, possible litigation between the two promoters who dispute the WBA champion, Eddie Hearn, of Matchroom Boxing, and the legendary former champion Floyd Mayweather, who has said that Davis is still contractually bound to him.