Top Rank chief and Hall of Famer promoter Bob Arum is ecstatic for the upcoming world bantamweight bout between unified super WBA and IBF champion Naoya Inoue and Michael Dasmariñas at the Virgins Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada on Sunday (Manila time).
“[The] ‘Monster’ is back in the US and he’s fighting a tough Filipino and I know from experience how tough the Filipino fighters are,” said Arum, who used to handle Filipino boxing legend Manny Pacquiao in Top Rank, in a press conference Friday.
Inoue is heading into the fight undefeated in 20 matches on top of 17 knockouts while Dasmariñas owns a 30-2-1 record with 20 KOs.
The 28-year-old Japanese “Monster” remained locked in with his mission and reiterated his desire to capture all the four major bantamweight titles to prove that he’s the best in the division.
“I feel the expectation and I want to answer that expectation and I want to be able to have that performance on Saturday night to answer to those expectations,” Inoue, who will be fighting for the third time on US soil and the second straight at the Sin City, said in Japanese.
Dasmariñas, 25, for his part, couldn’t be more grateful for the opportunity and vowed to give Inoue a good match in his debut fight on US soil.
Nicknamed “Hot ‘n Spicy,” Dasmariñas earned the rights to take on Inoue by beating compatriot Kenny Demecillo in March 2019.
“Mahirap ‘yong maghintay pero ‘yon talaga, kailangan talaga nating maging mapagpasensya para maabot itong ganitong pagkakataoon at nagpapasalamat ako dumating ‘yong chance na mabigyan ako ng title fight,” said the Pili, Camarines Sur native, who considered the match as the biggest challenge of his career. “Kaya ginawa ko lahat ng makakakaya ko sa training.”
Inoue last saw action in October last year with a knockout win over Australian foe Jason Moloney while Dasmariñas scored a technical knockout victory against Thai opponent Artid Bamrungauea in October 2019.
Meanwhile, the Japanese “Monster” also met with WBC bantamweight champion Nonito Donaire prior to the press conference.
The two bantamweight stars were seen all smiles as they strike a pose for a photo opportunity with Inoue jokingly gestured to take the WBC belt from Donaire.
It would be recalled that Inoue beat Donaire in November 2019 to unify the super WBA and IBF titles in a mega-bout that earned the Fight of the Year honor.