Japan's Inoue wins World Boxing Super Series final

Donaire falls to Japanese champ, fails in world title defense

Donaire falls to Japanese champ, fails in world title defense

Filipino boxing legend Nonito "The Filipino Flash" Donaire became just the third man to go the distance against Japanese KO artist Naoya "The Monster" Inoue, losing via Unanimous Decision in the finals of the World Boxing Super Series Bantamweight Tournament, Thursday evening at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan.

It was clear from the start Inoue and Donaire respected each other's power because of how sharp and defensive they were, trying to avoid getting hit with a fight changing punch.

The cut appeared to have Inoue rattled as Donaire tried to capitalize in the succeeding rounds. Donaire got back up to finish the round and the bout but couldn't turn things around.

With the decision hanging in the balance, Inoue stomped on the gas with the home fans cheering him on. Donaire continued the momentum into the 10th round by snapping Inoue's head with a stiff jab.

Naoya Inoue of Japan celebrates his win over Nonito Donaire of Philippines. Donaire took his time and got up at the count of nine, but the damage was done.

Donaire survived the round, but had nothing left in the tank in the 12th to try to score a desperate knockout.

Inoue, who boosted his record to 19-0 with 16 KOs, was all praises for Donaire, a four-division champion who might even consider retirement as an option.

Donaire rose but lost unanimously 116-111 117-109 114-113 on the scorecards.

"I think Donaire was a true champion, he's very strong and I was victorious but I'm not the greatest of all time yet".

The defeat dropped the ledger of Donaire to 40-6 with 25 KOs. And, he stated the obvious, that it was the toughest fight he had ever been in in his career.

Aside from the mythical title of world's best bantamweight, Inoue likewise won the coveted Ali trophy and a cool $1 million for his landmark win over Donaire, who snapped Inoue's seven-fight KO streak with his blood-and-guts performance on hostile ground.