Bantamweights Naoya ‘Monster’ Inoue 18-0 (16) and Nonito ‘The Filipino Flash’ Donaire 40-5 (26) both made weight ahead of tonight’s World Boxing Super Series final at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan.
The winner of the IBF and WBA unification bout will be awarded the coveted Muhammad Ali Trophy.
“Official weigh-in is over and the only thing we can do is to get ready for fight night,” said Inoue, who came in at 117.5 pounds. “We are going to show the greatest fight ever. A victory will be a very satisfying moment for me and it will be a very big step for a bright future.”
“It’s very special to me,” said Donaire, also 117.5 pounds. “It’s for the Muhammad Ali Trophy. It’s the best of the best. Everything a fighter wants to want is to become the best of the best. I’ve been through it all and this is for me another step towards becoming undisputed.
“It’s one of the top moments of my career and I get to fight in Japan. I’ve been here so many times and I love the place. The fans are incredible, the people are incredible.”
Inoue, who has won world championships at junior flyweight, super flyweight and bantamweight during his seven-year pro career, praised Donaire as an influence on his career.
“Since before I turned professional, I kept watching Donaire and always had him in my mind,” the 26-year-old said in comments published by Fightnews.
“I respect him and hope to follow his great footsteps. But it’s time for a change of generation.
“By defeating him I hope to see a bright future in front of me. It will be a breakthrough for all Japanese boxers that I finally dominate the WBSS tournament.”
The 36-year-old Donaire will be looking to draw on his experience to defeat his decade younger opponent.
“The ring is my home. I will show my real power wherever I may fight,” Donaire said.
“I have fought many great boxers, but Naoya must be the very best of my all opponents. I wish to be a wall to prevent him from achieving a change of generation.”
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