Fight Week: Naoya Inoue, Nonito Donaire set for second showdown

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FIGHT WEEK

Naoya Inoue and Nonito Donaire will fight again, this time for three of the four major 118-pound belts Tuesday in Japan. Meanwhile, Jaime Munguia and Edgar Berlanga will fight in separate bouts on Saturday.

Naoya Inoue (22-0, 19 KOs) vs. Nonito Donaire (42-6, 28 KOs)

  • When: Saturday, June 7

  • Time: 5 a.m. ET / 2 a.m.. PT (main event later in show)

  • Where: Super Arena, Saitama, Japan

  • TV/Stream: ESPN+

  • Division: Bantamweight (118 pounds)

  • Rounds: 12

  • At stake: Inoue’s IBF and WBA, and Donaire’s WBC titles

  • Pound-for-pound ranking: Inoue, No. 2, Donaire, Honorable Mention

  • Odds: Inoue 5-1 favorite (average of multiple outlets)

  • Also on the card: Takuma Inoue vs. Gakuya Furuhashi, junior featherweights; Andy Hiraoka vs. Shun Akaiwa, junior welterweights

  • Prediction: Inoue KO 10

  • Background: Inoue and Donaire will be fighting for three of the four major 118-pound belts in a rematch of their November 2019 fight, which Inoue won by a unanimous decision. Donaire gave Inoue a harder time than many expected, although the Japanese star fought with a broken bone in his face. The Japanese star followed that victory with knockouts of Jason Moloney, Michael Desmarinas and Aran Dipaen. The Dipaen fight took place on Dec. 14. Inoue has won major titles in three divisions. Donaire, 39, proved that his performance against Inoue was no fluke by stopping Nordine Oubaali a year and a half later to win the WBC version of the bantamweight title. He also knocked out Reymart Gaballo in his first defense in December. Donaire, an elite fighter for more than 15 years, is a four-division titleholder. The fight will take place in the early morning hours U.S. time.

 

Edgar Berlanga (19-0, 16 KOs) vs. Roamer Alexis Angulo (27-2, 23 KOs)

  • When: Saturday, June 11

  • Time: 11 p.m. ET / 8 p.m.. PT (main event later in show)

  • Where: Madison Square Garden, New York

  • TV/Stream: ESPN/ESPN+

  • Division: Bantamweight (118 pounds)

  • Rounds: 10

  • At stake: No major titles

  • Pound-for-pound ranking: None

  • Odds: NA

  • Also on the card: Xander Zayas vs. Ravshan Hudaynazarov, junior middleweights

  • Prediction: Berlanga KO 8

  • Background: Berlanga, 25, faces arguably his toughest test to date against the hard-punching Colombian native Angulo. Berlanga started his professional career with 16 consecutive first-round knockouts, which caused a sensation. However, his last three opponents have taken him the distance, including veteran Steve Rolls on March 19. That indicates that Berlanga isn’t merely a slugger — he can box, too — but also that he might not have the punching power many believed he had. He’s ranked by two of the four major sanctioning bodies. Angulo is a solid all-around fighter who has fallen short in his biggest fights. He lost a wide decision to then-168-pound champ Gilberto Ramirez in June 2018 and was dominated and stopped by David Benavidez after 10 rounds in August 2020. Benavidez lost his super middleweight title on the scale the day before that fight. Angulo is 38.

 

Jaime Munguia (39-0, 31 KOs) vs. Jimmy Kelly (26-2, 10 KOs)

  • When: Saturday, June 11

  • Time: 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m.. PT (main event later in show)

  • Where: Honda Center, Anaheim, California

  • TV/Stream: DAZN

  • Division: Middleweight (160 pounds)

  • Rounds: 12

  • At stake: No major titles

  • Pound-for-pound ranking: None

  • Odds: NA

  • Prediction: Munguia KO 6

  • Background: Munguia, the talented former 154-pound titleholder, is targeting his first opportunity to fight for a belt at 160. In the meantime, he has to stay busy. That’s where the limited Kelly comes in. Munguia is 5-0 since moving up to middleweight, including four knockouts. He’s coming off a third-round stoppage of D’Mitrius Ballard on Feb. 19. The 25-year-old Mexican is ranked No. 1 by the WBO, whose champion is Demetrius Andrade. Munguia also is ranked by the three other major sanctioning bodies. Kelly has won three consecutive fights since losing a wide decision to Denis Hogan in April 2018. The Englishman took a 2½-year break from the sport between 2019 and last year. He also was stopped in seven rounds by then-WBO junior middleweight titleholder Liam Smith back in 2015. Kelly is 29.

 

ALSO FIGHTING THIS WEEK

JUNE 10

  • Bakhodir Jalolov vs. Jack Mulowayi, heavyweights, Verona, New York (Showtime).

  • Hiroto Kyoguchi vs. Esteban Bermudez, junior flyweights (for Kyoguchi’s WBA title), Mexico City (DAZN).

JUNE 11

  • Trevor Bryan vs. Daniel Dubois, heavyweights, Miami (pay-per-view).

  • Cletus Seldin vs. Rachid Jkitou, junior welterweights, Huntington, New York (FITE).

Related

Nonito Donaire, 39, driven by idea of becoming 'undisputed'

Edgar Berlanga gets past Steve Rolls in spite of another shaky performance

Jaime Munguia puts D'Mitrius Ballard away in third round

Naoya Inoue stops overmatched Aran Dipaen in eight

Nonito Donaire knocks out Reymart Gaballo with body shot in Round 4