Japanese sensation Naoya Inoue (16-0, 14KOs) captured the WBA bantamweight title in empathetic style when he stopped Jamie McDonnell (29-3-1, 13KOs) in the first round.
The 25-year-old became a three-weight world champion in only his sixteenth professional fight in front of an overjoyed home crowd in Tokyo.
McDonnell was in deep and it was always going to take something out of the ordinary to beat such a special talent. The Englishman was confident of causing an upset but after looking clearly weight drained and facing such a formidable fighter the writing was on the wall.
Inoue took his time and waited for an opening before catching McDonnell high on the top of the head with a looping left hook. The former champion staggered briefly but found himself on the floor for the first time after a trademark left hook to the body.
With McDonnell clearly in trouble the ‘Monster’ sensed blood and went in for the kill. With a barrage of punches to the head and body McDonnell fell to the canvas for the second and last time as referee Luis Pabon waved the fight off.
This kid from Kanagawa, Japan picked up his third world title in 16 fights while absolutely destroying a seasoned pro in two-minutes. Maybe if McDonnell wasn’t clearly weight-drained then the fight could have gone further but that would have only delayed the inevitable.
This is not the end for Jamie McDonnell who is still only 32-years-old and has time to assess his options. He struggled badly to make weight so maybe look at the 122lb division for a comeback fight on home soil.
Naoya Inoue will now join the World Boxing Super Series to challenge himself against the best in the division. I’m sure the organisers will seed the four world champions with the likelihood of a mouth watering semi-final.
After this performance I would place Inoue as the favourite but he will be taking on other special talents.
IBF title holder Emmanuel Rodriguez from Puerto Rico recently produced a boxing clinic against Paul Butler. Northern Irishman Ryan Burnett is the WBA ‘super’ champion although he was a unified title holder after defeating Zhanat Zhakiyanov last year. Lastly we have the oldest of the four South African Zolani Tete who has the WBO strap.
I don’t care who fights who I’m just pleased that they will fight each other which is good for the division and good for boxing.