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Naoya Inoue vs. Nonito Donaire 2: Fight prediction, undercard, odds, start time, preview, expert pick

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Boxing fans are in for a mid-week treat when Naoya Inoue and Nonito Donaire run back their 2019 classic. The bantamweight unification clash goes down Tuesday from Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan (5 a.m. ET, ESPN+).

The first meeting between Inoue and Donaire was a near-unanimous choice for 2019’s Fight of the Year among boxing media. The bout was the finals of the ambitious World Boxing Super Series bantamweight tournament.

Donaire (42-6, 28 KO) entered the tournament thought by many to be well past his prime and having lost bouts to Jessie Magdaleno and Carl Frampton in two of his last three. While Donaire won his first two fights in the WBSS tournament, he did not enter the finals with Inoue having calmed many concerns over his current form. The first round saw him defeat Ryan Burnett after Burnett suffered a back injury just four rounds into the fight and the semifinal bout came against Stephon Young who was a late replacement for Zolani Tete.

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But, when given his shot at Inoue, one of the best fighters in the world, Donaire showed he still held many of the skills that saw him win 30 consecutive fights from 2001 to 2012, a stretch where he won world titles at flyweight, super flyweight, bantamweight and super bantamweight. In his 35th pro fight, Donaire also added a world title at featherweight to his already impressive collection.

The speed of Inoue (22-0, 19 KO) was a major factor in the bout with Donaire, but Donaire never backed down and showcased a brutal right hand in addition to his trademark left hook. Both men would hurt the other throughout the battle before Inoue was able to pull away late, including with a knockdown on a body shot in Round 11. Inoue would ultimately win the fight by scores of 114-113, 116-111, and 117-109, but Donaire’s performance showed he had plenty left to offer inside the ring.

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“In terms of ranking him with any fighter I’ve previously faced, Nonito is more special than anyone else,” Inoue said in an interview with BoxingScene. “I still have plenty I want do in my career and consider this fight as a checkpoint like any other fight.

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“Winning against Oubaali and Gaballo, who both are no easy opponents, in four rounds is simply very impressive. I can imagine Donaire has put in a lot of hard work in the gym.”

Donaire would be out of the ring until 2021 when he knocked out Nordine Oubaali in the fourth round to capture the WBC title and then retained the belt with another fourth-round knockout, this time over Reymart Gaballo.

Inoue’s nickname “The Monster” is apt, considering his crushing power that has put down all but three of his career opponents. On his rise to the point of being one of the sport’s pound-for-pound elite, Inoue has collected world titles at junior flyweight, junior bantamweight and bantamweight.

Since his win over Donaire, Inoue has remained perfect, scoring knockouts of Jason Moloney, Michael Dasmarinas and Aran Dipaen.

Now, he’s set for a rematch with his toughest opponent to date as well as the biggest name fighter he’s ever faced.

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The rest of the undercard fills out with more matchups in the lower weight classes. Takuma Inoue, Naoya’s younger brother, is back in a super bantamweight contest when he takes on Gakuya Furuhashi. Takuma Inoue previously held the interim WBC super bantamweight title in 2019 before suffering his lone pro defeat to Oubaali when he challenged for the full title. He holds a 15-1 record with just three knockouts. 

Below is the rest of the fight card in Japan with the latest odds from Caesars Sportsbook before getting to a prediction and pick on the main event.

Inoue vs. Donaire card, odds

Naoya Inoue (c) -550

Nonito Donaire (c) +400

WBA, IBF and WBC bantamweight titles

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Takuma Inoue

Gakuya Furuhashi

Super bantamweight

Andy Hiraoka

Shun Akaiwa

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Lightweight

Prediction

It’s been a joy to watch Donaire, a true legend and a beloved fighter, resurrect his career as a legitimate top-tier fighter. However, at 39-years old, Donaire is at an age where his body will often not be able to pull off what has become instinct over his long and storied career. Inoue has already proven he has the ability to beat Donaire, albeit in a thrilling fight, and he’s still a 29-year-old who has taken a very limited amount of dents over his time in the ring.

It would seem reasonable to think that Inoue will be able to repeat what he accomplished the first time around and maybe without as much trouble. Expect Donaire to be game and to give everything he has. It’s just that everything Donaire has might not be enough. Pick: Naoya Inoue via TKO10



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Three Stars from Day 3 of WJC: Canada’s McTavish joins elite company – Sportsnet.ca

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Canada and the U.S. dominated in their second game of the tournament while Czechia and Finland went toe-to-toe and needed a shootout to determine a winner on Day 3 of the World Junior Hockey Championship.

The Canadian team rebounded from a sluggish performance with an 11-1 win over Slovakia, a game in which captain Mason McTavish added his name to the country’s record books.

Against Switzerland, the United States took their game to another gear that their opponent could not match as they cruised to a 7-1 victory to improve to 2-0 at the tournament.

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Finland dropped a crucial point as they had to overcome a 2-0 deficit but were able to pick up the shootout win over their rival Czechia.

Here is a look at the top performances from Day 3 of the world juniors.

3rd Star: Luke Hughes, USA

Coming from a great hockey family, Luke Hughes is making most of his opportunity as one of the top defencemen for the U.S. 

The younger brother of Quinn and Jack displayed his mobility and vision against Switzerland with a three-point effort. He now has five points in his first two games of the tournament — more than either of his brothers ever achieved at this event in fewer games.

Hughes leads all defenceman in scoring so far in the tournament and is tied for fourth overall.

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The 18-year-old played 21:18 against the Swiss to lead the U.S. in ice time playing on the top pairing with Brock Faber. His play from this point will be a crucial part of his team’s success given the creativity he displayed, especially on Matt Coronato’s goal in the second period.

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He made another top-notch set up on Thomas Bordeleau’s power-play goal in the third period as he delayed enough to get the defenders to pull towards his side of the ice.

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2nd Star: Carter Mazur, USA

Coming into the tournament, Carter Mazur is looking to build off an impressive season at the University of Denver. 

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While he was in a scoring slump in his first NCAA season, the Detroit Red Wings prospect made a call to his NHL team’s assistant director of player development, Daniel Cleary. After that, he would go on to finish with 14 goals and 38 points in 41 games.

Those tips have now turned Mazur into a scoring machine as he accounted for two of the team’s seven goals and was also named the player of the game as the top line of Mazur, Landon Slaggert, and Thomas Bordeleau had an impressive performance against Switzerland

After a scoreless first period, Mazur wasn’t going to make any mistake on a point-blank chance in front of the net with Mackie Samoskevich making a great pass from behind the net.

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With the Americans looking to add to their lead, Mazur was once again the beneficiary of a great pass from Slaggert as he made no mistake from the front of the net.

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He added another assist on Slaggert’s goal later in the period for his third point of the game. Through his first two games at the world juniors, Mazur has four points and is tied for sixth in scoring.

1st Star: Mason McTavish, Canada

On a night where Canada dominated from start to finish, Mason McTavish joined some elite company with a night he’ll certainly remember for a long time.

The 19-year-old joined Mario Lemieux, Simon Gagné, Brayden Schenn, Taylor Raddysh, Maxime Comtois and teammate Connor Bedard as the only players to score four goals in a single world junior game for Canada. The tournament record for goals in a single game is held by Sweden’s Ola Rosander who had six back in 1987.

With his performance against Slovakia in a dominant win for Canada, McTavish now sits atop the scoring lead with eight points in two games after registering six points in this game.

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McTavish scored his first goal of the game on a breakaway — with Canada already leading 5-0 midway through the second — making no mistake to beat Tomas Bolo, who came into the game after starter Simon Latkoczy was pulled going into the second period.

His second goal came off a great play by Joshua Roy who flipped the puck in the air to Brennan Othmann who then set up McTavish as he finished with a backhander to put Canada up 7-1. McTavish would complete the second-period hat trick, a day after Alexander Blank did the same for Germany, after a selfless pass from Roy on a 2-on-0 break.

Canada would capitalize on a turnover on McTavish’s fourth goal as Othmann set him up alone in front of the net and he made no mistake.

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There was some doubt about whether McTavish would suit up for Canada after playing a fair amount of hockey last season. Making his NHL debut with the Anaheim Ducks, the third overall pick from the 2021 NHL Draft played in a total of 72 games between the NHL, AHL, OHL, Memorial Cup and the Olympics.

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Instead, McTavish decided to join the team in Edmonton and take on the role as captain where he has excelled centring Canada’s top line with Bedard and and a rotation of Roy and Othmann.

Canada will now look forward to a matchup against Czechia with a chance to improve to 3-0.

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Field of Dreams Game 2022: A celebration of baseball memories in an Iowa cornfield

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The Field of Dreams is an opportunity for fans and players alike to reflect on the people and places that taught them to love baseball, Jake Mintz writes.



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Ravens extend NFL record for consecutive postseason wins following Thursday’s victory over the Titans

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USA Today

The No. 21 is now synonymous with the longest winning streaks in NFL regular and preseason history. the 2003-04 Patriots won 21 consecutive games, an NFL record. On Thursday night, the Ravens won their 21st consecutive preseason game after securing a 23-10 decision against the Tennessee Titans

Baltimore has not lost a preseason game since 2016. Joe Flacco was their starting quarterback when the streak began, while Steve Smith Jr., who this past year was eligible for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame for the first time, was heading into his final NFL season. Baltimore’s roster also included Terrell Suggs, who was entering his second-to-last season with the franchise. 

Along with not losing preseason games, another constant in Baltimore over the past six years has been kicker Justin Tucker, who is entering his 11th season with the Ravens. Tucker’s field goals of 47, 25 and 47 yards on Thursday night helped Baltimore pull out the win after falling behind midway through the second quarter. 

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The Ravens won Thursday’s game by winning the turnover margin while holding the Titans to 1 of 3 red zone efficiency. One of those turnovers was scooped up by Kyle Hamilton, the Ravens’ first-round pick in this past year’s draft. 

Baltimore won despite the efforts of Malik Willis, the Titans’ rookie quarterback who overcame a slow start to score his first NFL touchdown, a 7-yard run early in the second quarter. Speaking of quarterbacks, the Ravens received a strong night from Tyler Huntley, who completed all but two of his 18 pass attempts that included his game-winning touchdown pass to Shemar Bridges



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