Naoya Inoue showed once again why he’s called the Japanese “Monster.”
Inoue only needed three rounds to stop Filipino challenger Michael Dasmariñas to retain the super WBA and IBF bantamweight titles at the Virgin Hotels in Las Vegas, Nevada Sunday (Manila time).
The undefeated Japanese superstar scored three huge knockdowns by unloading multiple and vicious left hooks on Dasmariñas.
Despite a slow first round, Inoue was already in full control as he landed several left hooks before securing his first knockdown score with a solid shot to the liver.
The 28-year-old Inoue didn’t waste time on the third round and went for the kill with back-to-back liver shots.
Obviously enduring the pain, Dasmariñas got back on his foot but Inoue answered back with another deadly blow to the liver which prompted referee Russell Mora to halt the match at 0:15.
“The first round, I just wanted to see what he had and as he came out. It depended on how he came out,” said Inoue with the help of a translator. “After a while, I thought that I could knock him out.”
Inoue remained unbeaten in 21 matches on top of 18 knockouts, spoiling Dasmariñas’ debut on US soil.
Dasmariñas, 28, for his part, fell to a 30-3-1 record with 20 KOs.
With the triumphant title defense, Inoue has set sights on the winner of the all-Filipino showdown between WBC bantamweight champion Nonito Donaire and WBO king John Riel Casimero next month.
“Of course,” the Japanese “Monster” briefly replied when asked if that’s the fight he wanted next.
But if Inoue needs to choose only one, he would prefer to pick a rematch with Donaire over Casimero.
“Getting the win gave me the smile but to be able to fight the winner [between] Casimero and Donaire, that brings me another smile as well,” said the Japanese boxing icon. “I think, dramatically, it would be Donaire II.”