FUTURE hall of famer Nonito Donaire is backing Stephen Fulton to do what he could not.
Next Tuesday at the Ariake Arena in Tokyo Naoya Inoue is aiming to win a belt in a fourth weight class against Fulton.
The American defends his two super-bantamweight trinkets against the man known as ‘The Monster’. Inoue is one of the most destructive forces in boxing with 21 wins inside the distance against 24 opponents. One of those was against Donaire 42-7 (28) during their rematch over a year ago. Inoue needed less than five minutes to wipe out the Filipino legend. A far more conclusive outcome after their dramatic encounter in Saitama four years ago when Inoue was taken the distance.
Fulton, unbeaten in 21 contests, will hope to become the first man to put a loss on Inoue’s record. Despite moving up four pounds in weight the Japanese machine is the favourite to get the job done.
“With Inoue going up in weight and Fulton being the champion, you know, I have to give a slight edge [to] Fulton because Inoue has never fought anybody like Fulton,” Donaire told Boxing Scene.
“And Fulton is the champion, so I just have to give a slight edge to Fulton. I think Fulton is hungry and he is excited for this fight because [Inoue is] a name that will get him to be noticed in the boxing world like Inoue is, in terms of notoriety and stuff like that. That’s something that Fulton is looking to have.”
“Inoue’s gonna do what he does, but I think that’s a great fight. You know, it’s one of those fights people have to see.”
Donaire will attempt to add another belt to his own collection five days after Inoue-Fulton. The 40-year-old faces Mexican Alexander Santiago for the vacant WBC bantamweight strap on the Errol Spence Jr-Terence Crawford card at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The four belts at 118lbs were vacated by Inoue after he won them all before moving to 122lbs. Donaire vs Santiago comes 16 years after the veteran won his first world title when he stopped Vic Darchinyan with a thrilling performance to win the IBF flyweight belt.