Photo by Steve Marcus/Getty Images
Naoya Inoue retained his WBA and IBF bantamweight titles at the Virgin Hotel Theatre in Las Vegas last night, sending his Filipino opponent to the canvas three times before referee Russel Mora called a stop to the action in the third round.
“The Monster” collected his 18th knockout victory over a game Michael Dasmarinas, 30-3-1 (20KOs), via a series of devastating body shots with the end coming at 2:45 of round three.
In the opening round, Inoue, 28, stalked his man around the ring, dictating the pace whilst remaining economical with his shots. The Japanese sensation did an excellent job of cutting off the ring and landing power shots once he had Dasmarinas where he wanted him.
The three-division champion continued his measured attacks in the second round, mixing his assault from body to head. Dasmarinas crashed to the canvas in the final minute of the round from a 1-2 combination to the head followed by a well placed left hook to the body. When the action resumed, Inoue continued to target the body but the IBF No. 1 contender was able to survive.
The third round saw the Filipino southpaw show tremendous fortitude, firing back in the exchanges and it appeared as if he had recovered from the previous round.
But pound for pound star Inoue, proved to be the classier operator, dropping “Hot and Spicy” Dasmarinas in the latter part of the round with another hard body shot. After barely making the 10 count, the Yokohama native forced his man into the corner of the ring moments later, landing another solid left hook to the body in the same place, creating the same result. The referee this time had seen enough and felt no need to take a count.
Naoya Inoue moves to 21-0 (18KOs) and an impressive 85% KO percentage.
The former World Boxing Super Series winner now looks to a potential rematch with previous opponent, Nonito Donaire who he beat in 2019 in the fight of the year as voted by Ring Magazine.
Donaire, the WBC bantamweight champion is set to face WBO champion John Casimero on the 14th August.
The Monster remarked, “Getting this win brings a smile to my face…the ability to face the winner of Donaire-Casimero brings an even bigger smile to my face.”
Lets hope by the end of the year, boxing fans can celebrate another undisputed champion in the sport.