Naoya Inoue
Boxing

Naoya Inoue vs. Michael Dasmarinas preview

June 17, 2021January 3rd, 2022

The Japanese three-weight world champion returns to action this weekend in Vegas, writes Nick Peet.

The most devastating one-punch knockout artist in world boxing, Naoya Inoue, returns to continue his rampage through the bantamweight division this weekend, aiming to add an 18th career KO to his perfect 20-0 record.

Defending his IBF and WBA world titles, ‘Monster’ Inoue – already a three-weight world champion – faces Filipino Michael Dasmarinas at the Virgin Hotel in Las Vegas.

The 28-year-old from Yokohama is the smallest, biggest star in the sweet science, with natural punching power far exceeding his diminutive five-foot-five-inch frame.

Armed with chilling body shots, head snapping uppercuts, lethal lead right hands and a trademark left hook; Inoue’s incredible power and resume of championship success surpasses anything else in the current pound-for-pound list.

In 2014, in just his sixth professional fight, Inoue ended the reign of established WBC light-flyweight champion Adrian Hernandez in the sixth round. And later that year he skipped flyweight all together and headed to super-fly to crush Filipino’s Warlito Parrenas in two rounds to claim the WBO crown.

After seven defences in three short years, in 2018 Inoue invited Doncaster’s WBA bantamweight champion Jamie McDonnell to Japan for the seventh defence of his crown. It took Inoue less than two minutes to lift another world title.

The World Boxing Super Series bantamweight tournament was next. Inoue ran through Juan Carlos Payano and unbeaten Emmanuel Rodriguez in one and two rounds respectively, picking up the IBF belt on his way to the final.

Four-weight world champion Nonito Donaire provided a formidable test and Inoue was extended the distance for only the second time in his career in a fight that was heralded as the very best of 2019 and the victory made all the more impressive when it was revealed Inoue fought with a fractured orbital bone for 10 of the 12 rounds.

Unsurprisingly, the Monster for Yokohama was a secret no more and he signed with American promoter Top Rank shortly after. This will be his second consecutive Las Vegas outing as they look to maximize his potential by conquering the lucrative US pay-per-view market.

Dasmarinas is the mandatory contender with the IBF and carries a strong 30-2-1 record into the ring. His sole stoppage defeat was in just his fourth outing, whilst the only other loss on his record came via a split decision in South Africa against a South African champion way back in 2014.

However, whilst the Filipino’s validity as a contender can’t be questioned, Inoue’s validity as one of the hardest punchers in history can’t either. If Dasmarinas can get his feet moving he may be able to avoid the inevitable for the first half of the fight.

But the bright lights of Las Vegas can do weird things to fighters, especially those making their US debuts, and so I expect the challenger – who has 20 knockouts of his own – to come out swinging in an attempt to make a name for himself.

Monster mauling incoming.

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