The first of three World Boxing Super Series finals have been officially announced.
First reported by Mike Coppinger of The Athletic, the World Boxing Super Series announced that the bantamweight finals between IBF champion Naoya Inoue and WBA champion Nonito Donaire will take place in Japan on November 7. Instead of Tokyo, however, the fight will take place at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama and will be streamed on DAZN.
Source tells @TheAthletic the World Boxing Super Series bantamweight final between Naoya Inoue and Nonito Donaire is set for Nov. 7 in Tokyo, Japan. DAZN will stream the fight, which will take place on a Thursday— Mike Coppinger (@MikeCoppinger) August 5, 2019
Inoue has made his case as boxing's top pound-for-pound fighter throughout the tournament. After winning the WBA "Regular" title with a first-round knockout win over Jamie McDonnell to punch his ticket into the tournament, Inoue followed it up with a knockout victory over Juan Carlos Payano less than 90 seconds into the bout. In the semifinals, Inoue captured the IBF title with a second-round win over Emmanuel Rodriguez earlier this year. Inoue, a three-division world champion, has only fought for less than eight minutes total across his three fights at 118 pounds, all against former or current champions at the time of their respective bouts.
Donaire has enjoyed a career resurgence after a brief and unsuccessful run at featherweight in 2018. Donaire's journey to the finals is also a strange one. In the quarterfinals, Donaire defeated Ryan Burnett to win the WBA "Super" title after Burnett was injured in the middle of the fight and unable to continue.
The Filipino star was originally slated to fight WBO champion Zolani Tete in the semifinals, but Tete was forced to withdraw after getting injured days before the fight. Donaire would go on to beat late replacement Stephon Young in April to retain the WBA title and advance to the finals.
The WBSS has two more tournament finals at junior welterweight and cruiserweight, respectively, but those championship bouts have yet to have a date and venue officially announced.