All hail “The Monster.” Naoya Inoue did it again, knocking out IBF No. 1 contender Michael Dasmarinas in the third round with a left hook to the liver to retain his WBA and IBF bantamweight world titles at The Theater at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas.
Inoue (21-0, 18 KOs) improved to 16-0 in world title fights, knocking down Dasmarinas three times, all with pulverizing body blows. Dasmarinas (30-3-1, 20 KOs) had not tasted defeat since 2014, a 12-0-1 run that earned him the shot at perhaps the world’s top pound-for-pound fighter.
It soon became clear that Dasmarinas was no match for Inoue, who won the opening round and scored a knockdown in the second. Two more knockdowns in the third was all she wrote.
With the win, Inoue now wants to fully unify the division, which could happen after WBO champion John Riel Casimero and WBC champion Nonito Donaire fight this summer.
Inoue said, “Against the number one ranked fighter, Dasmarinas, I think I had a great win.
“I prepare myself to knock them out, whether with a head shot or a body shot. I came prepared and to get a win by knockout is good for me.
“The first round, I just wanted to see what he had. It depended on how he came out, and after a little while, yeah, I thought I could get him out.
“Getting the win makes me smile, but to be able to fight the winner of Casimero and Donaire, that brings me another smile.”
Added Top Rank chairman Bob Arum, “Naoya Inoue is a unique force of nature inside that ring. Another incredible performance from ‘The Monster.’ We are seeing a great fighter at work here, and he is only going to get better.”
Mayer Retains Title
Nobody said defending a world title is easy. WBO junior lightweight champion Mikaela Mayer successfully defended her title for the first time, turning back the stiff challenge of former two-weight world champion Erica Farias via unanimous decision (98-92 2x and 97-93).
Mayer (15-0, 5 KOs), one of female boxing’s most recognizable names, bested the most seasoned opponent of her career, a relentless woman who has fought in 19 world title fights and threw 400 punches in 10 rounds. Mayer outlanded Farias 118-86 and now has her sights on IBF world champion Maïva Hamadouche. Mayer and Hamadouche are scheduled to fight in a unification bout later this year.
Mayer said, ““I was just waiting to get through this fight to get to Maïva. Remind her that I’ll see her soon.”