Quijano: That’s why Inoue is ‘The Monster’

Because this Last Rounder unabashedly claims Nonito Donaire as his favorite active Filipino fighter, those bludgeoning blows that landed on “The Filipino Flash” in two short rounds, felt like sledgehammers that immediately made me lose my appetite as I was attempting to wolf down heaping servings of fried bangus over steaming hot rice.That fight was fought last Tuesday evening in Japan and I had wanted to savor the fight over a few cold bottles as I figured it might last until the 12th.I never thought Naoya Inoue would obliterate Donaire in just 284 seconds.Sheesh.“The Monster” didn’t even allow me to finish my dinner and so I never had the chance to follow through on my plans.THE FIGHT. Both fighters seemed quite intense at the get-go and no surprise there as they had already fought 12 rounds before and were quite familiar with each other.But this is where youth was served that night. A rematch fought almost three years later always favors the younger fighter and Inoue seemed sharper with his blows, while Donaire looked like he had difficulty finding a consistent punching rhythm.This inability cost him big time as while he was struggling to find his angles, Inoue caught him with a short chopping right on the jaw that Donaire never saw coming with a few seconds left in the first round.He fell down on one leg and afterwards admitted he never realized he had been knocked down.That pretty much turned the momentum Inoue’s way as that single punch seemed to change the complexion of the fight.Inoue was very active in the second round and hurt Donaire again as he was cornered along the ropes. Though the latter endeavored to fight back, his timing was off and his legs seemed to go under him midway though the round.As he staggered around the ring, Inoue unloaded a plethora of punches that knocked him down again. The ref thought he had seen enough of the destruction and called for the denouement of the bout.PROGNOSIS. Should Donaire retire? Knowing him and how he has bounced back from devastating losses before, Donaire will most likely soldier on. Even at age 39, he is probably still good enough to beat some of the top 10 bantamweights out there.Inoue is truly “The Monster” at this division, and so it remains to be seen what Donaire can hope to achieve at bantamweight if he can’t get past his conqueror.He can opt to move up, which is always an option. But even if he decides to hang the gloves, his legacy is secure. He will always be one of the best Pinoys ever to lace up a pair of boxing gloves. No shame at all in losing to Inoue.VERBATIM. “That first knockdown, I came up completely blank. I didn’t see that punch coming at all.” — Nonito Donaire (www.malaya.com.ph)LAST ROUND. It’s on my little man, Rodan Benjamin Jericho who recently graduated from the elementary with honors from Blessed Trinity Achievers Academy. Cheers!