"The Monster" Naoya Inoue did it again, knocking out IBF mandatory challenger 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, on August 14th in a Showtime televised fight.
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.”