Connect with us


Naoya Inoue rallies to retain undisputed junior featherweight title



Naoya Inoue rallies to retain undisputed junior featherweight title

Naoya Inoue suffered the primary knockdown of his illustrious profession within the opening spherical however rebounded to flooring Luis Nery thrice en path to a Spherical 6 KO victory to retain his undisputed junior featherweight championship on Monday in Tokyo.

There have been 44,000-plus readily available for the primary boxing occasion on the famed Tokyo Dome for the reason that Mike Tyson-Buster Douglas heavyweight title shocker in February 1990. And people followers witnessed one other shock when Mexico’s Nery dropped the Japanese star with a counter proper hand in Spherical 1.

Inoue, the -1600 favourite at ESPN BET, smirked and breathed a sigh of reduction as he walked again to his nook after the spherical.

“How did you want that large shock within the first spherical?” the 31-year-old requested the gang in Japanese after the struggle. “… That gave me motivation and I used to be so centered till the tip of the struggle.”

The next spherical, Inoue (27-0, 24 KOs) returned the favor with a counter left hook, the fifth knockdown of Nery’s profession. Inoue, ESPN’s No. 2 pound-for-pound boxer, slapped his gloves collectively because the referee counted.

“The Monster” deposited Nery on the canvas with one other left hook in Spherical 5. Then in Spherical 6, Inoue backed up Nery (35-2, 27 KOs) and delivered a pointy proper hand that despatched the challenger’s head crashing onto the underside rope because the referee halted the bout with no depend at 1:22.

Forward of Monday’s struggle, the Japan Boxing Fee reinstated Nery’s boxing license after he was indefinitely suspended in March 2018. The ban was handed down following Nery’s pair of stoppage wins over Japan longtime champion Shinsuke Yamanaka.

Nery scored a fourth-round TKO win over Yamanaka to seize the WBC bantamweight title in August 2017 however was suspended afterward when the banned substance zilpaterol was present in his system. Nery argued the discovering was the results of tainted meat consumed in Mexico.

Within the March 2018 rematch, Nery stopped Yamanaka in Spherical 2 however did so after he weighed 121 kilos for a 118-pound title bout. The pair of violations led to the ban and widespread scorn from Japanese boxing followers. The gang booed Nery throughout introductions.

“I do know there’s some tough emotions amongst Japanese boxing followers due to his fights previously, however I personally respect Nery,” Inoue stated. “That is why I shook arms with him after the struggle.”

Inoue outlanded Nery 107-54, per CompuBox. He additionally linked on the cleaner, sharper, more durable photographs. It was Inoue’s eighth consecutive victory inside the gap.

With the primary protection of his 4 122-pound titles behind him, Inoue nonetheless has two necessary challengers to take care of. Uzbekistan’s Murodjon Akhmadaliev is the WBA’s No. 1 contender, whereas Australia’s Sam Goodman is the top-ranked 122-pounder with the WBO and IBF.

Goodman, ESPN’s No. 7 junior featherweight, entered the ring afterward and shook arms with Inoue.

“I am wanting ahead to the negotiation to struggle in opposition to Sam Goodman in September,” Inoue stated.

“I have been necessary for over a yr, both hand over the belts or struggle me,” Goodman responded. “Let’s get it on.”

Regardless of his dominance throughout 4 weight divisions — he was additionally undisputed at 118 kilos together with title reigns at 108 and 112 — this wasn’t the primary time Inoue encountered adversity contained in the ring.

When he outpointed future Corridor of Famer Nonito Donaire in ESPN’s 2019 Combat of the 12 months, Inoue fought by way of a damaged orbital bone and fractured nostril. Similar to he did again then, Inoue rallied vs. Nery to stay undefeated.

Inoue collected all 4 belts in December when he knocked out Marlon Tapales in Spherical 10. He made his 122-pound debut in July with an eighth-round TKO win over Stephen Fulton. Inoue was named ESPN’s 2023 Fighter of the 12 months.

Previous to the struggle, Nery instructed BoxingScene that Inoue was an “overrated … bizarre fighter.” ESPN’s No. 3 junior featherweight, Nery’s solely earlier defeat got here in Might 2021, a seventh-round KO loss to Brandon Figueroa in a 122-pound title unification.

Nery’s Eleventh-round KO victory over Azat Hovhannisyan was named ESPN’s runner-up for 2023 Combat of the 12 months.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *