The smoke has long been cleared since Naoya Inoue and Nonito Donaire clashed in the bantamweight division final of the World Boxing Super Series.

But right now, everyone is still talking about the bout that also saw three championship belts, Donaire's World Boxing Association super title and Inoue's International Boxing Federation and Ring Magazine belts, unified.

The soldout crowd at the Super Arena in Saitama, Japan on Thursday night and even those who watched it in television or in live streams witnessed an instant classic right before their eyes as both Inoue and Donaire fought 12 rounds of intense boxing.

Although Inoue walked away with the unanimous decision win to take Donaire's WBA belt and keep his IBF and Ring belts, the latter still got the lauds of fans and pundits alike for his gallant effort, especially after he pushed the former to the limit even if he got knocked down in Round 11.

"Watching Nonito grimace in pain from the body shot and go down, only to will himself back to his feet and fight in, was a real Arturo Gatti moment. That’s the kind of humanity you only get in boxing," said Ring's Michael Montero on Twitter. 

Dan Canobbio of Fox Sports' Premier Boxing Champions coverage team added in another tweet, "Add Nonito Donaire’s name to the list of Shawn Porter, Sergey Derevyanchenko and Regis Prograis as fighters who may have come up short but won big in our hearts and minds. What a fight." 

The guys at MMA India, on the other hand, could not believe Donaire was still pushing Inoue to the limit despite the damage he got and the knockdown. 

Final CompuBox stats said Inoue landed 227 punches out of 628 against Donaire's 141-of-605.

Inoue, a known body puncher, connected a lot of his shots to Donaire's head as they both had the same number of body punches at 51.

However, the right hook right to Donaire's tummy in Round 11 that forced the knockdown was the one that mattered the most for Inoue.

With that said, many agreed that this should be considered for Fight of the Year. 


Meanwhile, Stephen Kelly believes the Inoue-Donaire bout has redefined the WBSS. 

On a lighter note, Daniel Connor could not help but notice Inoue declining to take the World Boxing Council Diamond Belt, an honorary title is given to the winner of a high-profile fight even if the real WBC title is not on the line. 

In the co-main event, Nordine Oubaali kept the WBC bantamweight title after he defeated Naoya Inoue's younger brother Takuma in an essential unification bout since the younger Inoue had the interim belt.

On whether Naoya Inoue snubbing the Diamond Belt is a sign that he is after Oubaali's real WBC bantamweight belt is something to find out real soon since the former signed with Top Rank after his bout, meaning he is set to conquer Las Vegas beginning next year.

Naoya Inoue Nonito Donaire Boxing Naoya Inoue (R) of Japan competes against Nonito Donaire of the Philippines during the WBSS Bantamweight Final at Saitama Super Arena on November 07, 2019 in Saitama, Japan. Toru Hanai/Getty Images