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Naoya Inoue labels Nonito Donaire 'special' as they prepare for long-awaited rematch

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inoue-donair-110719-getty-ftr (Getty Images)

Naoya Inoue has nothing but high praise for Nonito Donaire ahead of their imminent rematch.  

The bantamweight rivals will meet in an eagerly anticipated second clash in Japan this Tuesday and fight fans will be hopeful that the pair can deliver a repeat of their 2019 classic. 

Back then, Inoue was expected to make light work of his Asian rival, but he found the outstanding Filipino a very formidable opponent.  

Competing in the final of the inaugural WBSS bantamweight series, Inoue and Donaire traded meaty exchanges throughout before Inoue was handed the verdict on the scorecards. The Japanese star was impressed with what he encountered. 

“In terms of ranking him with any fighter I’ve previously faced, Nonito is more special than anyone else,” said Inoue when speaking to BoxingScene. “I still have plenty I want to do in my career and consider this fight as a checkpoint like any other fight.  

“Winning against Oubaali and Gaballo, who both are no easy opponents, in four rounds is simply very impressive. I can imagine Donaire has put in a lot of hard work in the gym.” 

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