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Inoue to face Donaire in WBSS bantam final after KO of Rodriguez

Naoya Inoue raises his left fist after scoring a knockdown against Emmanuel Rodriguez. Reuters
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA—Nonito Donaire's opponent in the World Boxing Super Series bantamweight final is now known.

Naoya Inoue booked the last seat in the final after knocking Emmanuel Rodriguez in the second semifinal at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow on Sunday (Philippine Time).

Inoue scored three straight knockdowns in the second round before the referee saw enough to call it a match.

Inoue first dropped Rodriguez to the floor after connecting on a left hook to the latter's head.

Despite making the eight count, Rodriguez was caught by Inoue's uppercut on his body, sending him down again.

Rodriguez barely made the eight count, but after a flurry from Inoue that forced the third knockdown, the referee stopped the contest at the 1:19 mark of Round 2.

Aside from keeping the World Boxing Association regular bantamweight title, Inoue also took Rodriguez's International Boxing Federation belt while claiming the vacant Ring Magazine title as well.

Inoue, however, is expected to relinquish his WBA belt as it will be "unified" with Donaire's super belt in the WBSS final to be held later this year.

Inoue remains perfect at 18-0, scoring his 16th knockout win.

Rodriguez, on the other hand, lost for the first time in his career following a 19-0 start.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno