Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire has more than a puncher’s chance to upsetting Japanese knockout sensation Naoya Inoue in their bantamweight championship clash on November 8 at Saitama Super Arena in Japan.

Robert Garcia, the former trainer and still close friend of Donaire, feels the four-division world champion is capable of shocking the world by knocking out his highly-touted Japanese opponent.

In an interview with EsNews, Garcia said he expects Donaire’s signature left hook to be a big factor in the bout. He believed the Filipino has an edge over Inoue in terms of experience and the pedigree of opponents he faced in his career.

“It could be the first to last, Nonito has the left hook that could hurt anybody,” Garcia when asked by EsNews Elie Seckbach what round Donaire would stop Inoue.

“Like I tell you from 1 to 12 it could happen. If Inoue gets [expletive] hook on Inoue’s face, he’s going down. He [Inoue] beats nobody while Donaire faced Guillermo Rigondeaux, [Vic] Darchinyan, [Fernando] Montiel, [Jorge] Arce, and that Puerto Rican champion Wilfredo Vasquez Jr,” Garcia added.

Road to WBSS finals

The 26-year-old Inoue is ranked No.4 in Ring Magazine’s pound-for-pound list just behind middleweight king Canelo Alvarez, WBO welterweight champ Terence Crawford, and lightweight superstar Vasyl Lomachenko. He boasts an impeccable 18-0 win-loss card, 16 of those victories coming by way of a knockout.

He recently unified the WBA (regular) and IBF bantamweight titles after stopping Emmanuel Rodríguez in the second round of their World Boxing Super Series semifinal clash. Before the Rodriguez bout, Inoue also stopped Juan Carlos Payano in the first round of the WBSS quarterfinal.

As for the 36-year-old Donaire, his road to the finals began in Glasgow, Scotland where he defeated homegrown kid Ryan Burnett via RTD (injured lower back) to wrest his WBA (super) bantamweight title.

He then faced Stephon Young, who was a late replacement to WBO champ Zolani Tete. He knocked out the American contender with another left hook in the sixth round to book a WBSS finals showdown with “the Monster” in Japan.

Make or Break for the Flash

Donaire has a chance to change the prevailing narrative about him – an ageing fighter at the twilight of his boxing career - with a win over Inoue.

It would surely open the door for more lucrative fights in the future and possibly a showdown with the top featherweights in the world like Leo Santa Cruz, Gary Russell Jr., and Oscar Valdez.

On the other hand, a loss would mean basically the end for Donaire’s career. There’s no recovering if Donaire absorbs a devastating KO at the hands of the Monster. He was a recipient of brutal KOs early in his career, and he can’t afford to suffer the same fate again on November 8.