Boxing Tips: Our 3 knockout bets for Naoya Inoue v Nonito Donaire on Tuesday

Our boxing tipster Matt Gipon has three value picks in mind.

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*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change

Make sure you’re working from home on Tuesday, or at least find yourself a privacy shield to obscure your screen, because during the late morning in the UK and Ireland pound-for-pound star Naoya Inoue defends his bantamweight crown against boxing icon Nonito Donaire.

The scrap in the Super Arena, Saitama on the outskirts of Tokyo is the rematch of the epic 2019 fight of the year in which Inoue went in a massive favourite, but had to overcome adversity to beat the ever-dangerous veteran Donaire.

We are back at the same arena in Japan for the second instalment of this bantamweight super series, and Inoue wants a definitive win over one of the finest scalps in all of boxing. But Donaire isn’t just coming for the pay day, and the 39-year-old still thinks that he has what it takes to be the undisputed number one in the division.

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Since returning to 118 pounds in 2018 Nonito has won four times by KO and only lost to Inoue in their bout three years ago. But Donaire isn’t a creaking member of the old guard relying on his power, he’s taking out top champions like unbeaten 2012 Olympian Nordine Oubaali with speed, skill and ringcraft.

Inoue is a big favourite again – which understandable given that he’s the younger man by 10 years, he’s got home advantage, and he’s still undefeated. The Japanese boxing prodigy is a three weight world champion with 19 wins by KO in just 22 contests.

With both boxers looking to land big bombs we are set for another rip-roaring bout. Inoue will try to take the centre of the ring and let his hands go, while Donaire may move in and out of range aiming to score hard shots on the counter.

Inoue to Win by KO/TKO

Based on form and class there’s not a huge amount in it. Inoue is currently in many people’s top five pound-for-pound and Donaire was once The Ring magazine fighter of the year – it’s just that the year was 2012. ‘The Filipino Flash’ turned pro in 2001 and he’s turning 40 November – at that age he can’t get better, it’s a question of how long he can maintain his current levels.

In the first fight everyone thought that Inoue would walk through the former king, perhaps the champ himself did too, but in the second round it was the veteran Donaire who opened up a cut on the young titleholder. Inoue didn’t panic but he retreated in the moment and he held a high guard for most of the rest of the contest.

 

The fight was back-and-forth but Inoue got the better of it and nearly forced the stoppage twice. The experience will be valuable to the diminutive powerhouse who dealt with cuts and broken facial bones and still found ways to hurt Donaire.

The shortest price in the method of victory market is Inoue to win by KO but I still think that there is value in the odds-on bet – 12 rounds is a long time to survive with ‘The Monster’.

Inoue to Win in Rounds 7-9

Donaire might not look like a tough guy but he is. The Filipino has lost on six occasions in his 49 fight career but he’s only been stopped once. That KO loss came up the weight divisions at featherweight against the power-punching Jamaican Nicholas Walters in round six after two earlier knockdowns. In his career Donaire has won world championships in five divisions – everything from flyweight to featherweight. At feather – 126 pounds – Donaire was never at his best and he lost to Walters and Belfast’s Carl Frampton, and it’s remarkable that he managed to drop eight pounds and be so good at this stage of his career.

 

I think this bout will continue the pattern of the last few rounds of the first fight – Inoue will have more respect for Donaire than he does for most opponents, but his work to the ribs and the liver was really starting to pay dividends in 2019, and I think this time he’ll break down the legendary challenger just after the middle sessions.

Donaire to Win in Rounds 4-6

If you’re looking for long odds – very long odds – you’re going to have to turn your attention away from an Inoue win towards a Donaire victory. He is rightfully an underdog but he’s still the bigger man and has a decent chance – he just needs to be at the level he has been the last couple of years. In 2021 Nonito stopped both unbeaten titleholder Oubaali and ‘24-and-0’ contender Reymart Gaballo by fourth round KO. And in 2019 Donaire iced the once beaten but never KO’d Stephon Young in round 6.

 

The veteran multi-weight champ has a devastating left hook, and, as they say, power is the last thing to go. Inoue is a beast in the smaller divisions but Donaire has traded blows and come out on top against far bigger men before.

Naoya Inoue v Nonito Donaire betting tips:

Inoue to Win by KO/TKO
Inoue to Win in Rounds 7-9
Donaire to Win in Rounds 4-6

*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change

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