The Big Question: Inoue vs Donaire - who wins?
Five members of the BM team are here with their picks and predictions for the Naoya Inoue vs Nonito Donaire World Boxing Super Series bantamweight final showdown...
Eighteen months ago I was lucky enough to be sat ringside in Belfast to watch ageing and undersized warrior Donaire put up a spirited twelve round battle up at featherweight with Carl Frampton. The event had the feel of a curtain call for the great Filipino and had someone suggested that Donaire would rebound to win another title back at bantamweight and be about to contest the World Boxing Super Series (WBSS) final against the prodigious Naoya Inoue I’d have scarcely believed it. Inoue has all the advantages here and although Donaire has declined much less than ‘JC Superstar’ had, this match feels uneasily like Kostya Tszyu vs Julio Cesar Chavez did at the turn of the century: in short, I’ll be watching through my fingers. I expect Inoue to continue his savage run of early knockouts and claim the Ali trophy within three hurtful rounds. - Chris Williamson
It’s a classic tale: 'The Young Champion' vs 'The Legend'. A tale that’s been played out many times. Be it Holmes vs Ali, De La Hoya vs Chavez or Barkley vs Duran. These contests get fans and pundits alike daydreaming about what has been before and what could be tomorrow. In this case it’s Inoue v Donaire. The Filipino, after flirting with super bantam and feather, is having a resurgence at 118lbs winning his last two by stoppage, leading many to believe he can turn back the clock to find another knockout. The issue is he’s in with a Monster. The Japanese Buzzsaw, Naoya Inoue who is walking through undefeated champions like they’re has-beens. There’s something romantic about an old champion turning back the clock but it isn’t happening here. Donaire may have some joy with his size advantages but once Inoue finds his range and starts to time him. It’s a matter of time before he gets the stoppage. The pick is Inoue by middle rounds stoppage. - Callum Rudge
An intriguing match up between a baby-faced monster and the world's nicest man. Donaire has found himself in the final through a pure fluke really. Firstly, Ryan Burnett’s freak injury and secondly facing late replacement Stephon Young who was out of his depth. Inoue, on the other hand, has made light work of legitimate opponents and a world champion in the form of Emmanuel Rodriguez. You can count with your fingers how many minutes Inoue’s fights have lasted. If Inoue can withstand the famous Donaire left hook and then go on to stop the Filipino I would have to place the Japanese Monster at the top of the P4P list. My prediction; Inoue between rounds 7-9. - James Lupton
Donaire might have his moments – and it’s possible he only needs one – but he’ll be outgunned. Inoue by body shot stoppage, somewhere between rounds 5 and 7. - Tom Craze
Like Callum and Tom I can't see Donaire getting past the middle rounds. Inoue by conclusive KO. - Luke G. Williams
Final tally: Inoue 5 Donaire 0