Filipino boxer Michael Dasmariñas is out to prove his worth when he faces Japanese superstar Naoya Inoue in their world bantamweight title clash at the Virgin Hotels in Las Vegas, Nevada on Sunday, June 20 (Manila time).
Dasmariñas will be tested to the fullest on his debut fight on US soil, entering as the underdog against Inoue, the unified super WBA and IBF bantamweight king who took down compatriot Nonito Donaire in November 2019.
Taking on the first major world title bout of his nine-year career, the 25-year-old Dasmariñas also wants to fulfill a personal mission of his own.
“Para sa akin, sobrang mahalaga itong laban dahil maraming sakripisyo ako at ‘yong team ko na tumulong sa akin sa training (This fight is very important for me because my teammates and I sacrificed a lot in training),” Dasmariñas told Japanese reporters in a video posted by fellow Filipino boxer Mark Magsayo. “Ito ‘yong para sakin, pinaka-biggest fight [sa career], sa laban ko na ‘to. Kaya gagawin ko lahat ng makakaya ko sa laban (This is the biggest fight of my career. I will do my best to win this fight).
“Gusto ko mapatunayan ko sa sarili ko na may bubuga rin ako sa boxing (I wanted to prove my worth in boxing),” the Pili, Camarines Sur native added.
Before arriving in Las Vegas, Dasmariñas had trained with veteran coach Freddie Roach at the Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles, California the past few weeks.
Nicknamed “Hot ‘n Spicy,” Dasmariñas earned the right to take on the Japanese “Monster” by defeating compatriot Kenny Demecillo in March 2019.
In October of the same year, Dasmariñas stunned Thai foe Artid Bamrungauea to improve his record at 30-2-1 on top of 20 knockouts.
Inoue, for his part, is unbeaten in 20 matches with 17 KOs with the latest win coming from Australian pug Jason Moloney last October.