Japanese boxing sensation Naoya Inoue’s is called the Monster. Ever since he made his splash on the international boxing scene winning the WBC Light Flyweight title in only his sixth professional fight just shy 21st birthday on April 6, 2014 (by way of a six round stoppage over Adrian Hernandez), Inoue has been building a reputation as a terror among the smaller weight fighters and a star in the making. In Dec. 2015 Inoue’s reputation increased as me moved up two divisions to win the WBO Jr. Bantamweight title taking apart Omar Narvaez in two rounds.
Among hardcore/serious boxing heads, Inoue was one of THE guys to keep an eye on and one of the more talked about fighters in the world due to not only to his talent, but his rapid rise up the ranks. And the word about Inoue reached the boxing mainstream as last September, Inoue was one of the fighters featured on HBO’s Superfly card at the StubHub Center in Carson, Ca. (Inoue defended his WBO Jr. Bantamweight with a 6th round KO over Antonio Nieves).
Given what we have seen yesterday, as Inoue moved up to Bantamweight challenge WBA “regular” Bantamweight champion Jamie McDonnell in Tokyo, Inoue’s stardom is destined to reach new heights. Making the sixth defense of his title McDonnell ran into a buzz saw as Inoue took him apart, stopping him the first round to win the title in just 1 minute and 52 seconds! In arguably the best performance of his career Inoue took the initiative early, hurting McDonnell with a single left hook to the temple :80 seconds in the first round, and a follow-up left hook to the body put McDonnell down. McDonnell got up, but Inoue went on attack mode, swarming McDonnell with a power punches until McDonnell went down for a second time and at that point Ignacio Robles stepped in and called a halt to the contest.
Even though Inoue was the favorite coming in, the calm, ease, precision and swiftness in which he disposed McDonnell was a surprise and only further enhanced his reputation and resume. Moreover, McDonnell reportedly gained 26 lbs between the weigh-in and fight, outweighing Inoue by 13 lbs when the fighters entered the ring, making Inoue’s performance that much more impressive. In short, Naoya Inoue showed today why he’s called the “Monster” with a sensational performance.
Now 25, it’s becoming clear that Naoya Inoue is entering his prime fighting years. Given all that he’s accomplished so early in career, the question becomes where does Inoue go from here? A couple of weeks ago the World Boxing Super Series announced that part of Season 2 will include a Bantamweight tournament and Inoue has announced that he has accepted an offered slot. This is fantastic news as this Bantamweight tournament will now feature all three Bantamweight current world titlists, Inoue as well as WBO champion Zolani Tete, WBA Super Champion Ryan Burnett, and IBF champion Emmanuel Rodriguez. The possibility of an Naoya Inoue – Zolani Tete matchup in particular is mouthwatering. The star of the “Monster” is shining brighter than ever.