FILIPINO BOXING champion Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire, Jr. returns to the ring today to take on hometown bet Naoya “The Monster” Inoue in a high-stakes clash in Japan.

Happening at the Saitama Super Arena, Messrs. Donaire (40-5) and Inoue (18-0) will dispute the World Boxing Super Series Bantamweight title and the Muhammad Ali Trophy as well as battle for the Internationl Boxing Federation and World Boxing Association (Super) World Bantamweight Championships in a scheduled 12-rounder.

Mr. Donaire, 36, made his way to the finals of the WBSS by topping British Ryan Burnett (technical knockout) and American Stephon Young (knockout) in impressive fashion in the earlier rounds of the series.

It has been an impressive bounce back for the veteran fighter, who prior to the back-to-back wins, absorbed two losses out of three fights.

Mr. Donaire acknowledged that he is in for a tough fight against the undefeated Inoue, who has willed his way to being among the top fighters in the world in just 26 years of age.

But the Filipino champion is not allowing himself to be consumed by such thoughts, and instead used it as motivation heading into the fight even as he said that he is giving his all come fight day.

Mr. Inoue, for his part, has won his 16 of his total 18 fights by way of knockout, including the last two against Juan Carlos Payano of the Dominican Republic and Emmanuel Rodriguez of Puerto Rico to earn his spot in the WBSS finals.

Mr. Inoue has made it known that he idolizes his Filipino opponent but is nonetheless is determined to bring Mr. Donaire down in his home turf. — Michael Angelo S. Murillo