Monday, July 15, 2024  |



The Monster slays again: Naoya Inoue takes out Michael Dasmarinas in round 3

Naoya Inoue is known as "The Monster" but he might earn a new nickname, "The Body Snatcher." Photo by Naoki Fukuda
Fighters Network

His nickname is The Monster, so there are certain expectations attached to bantamweight Naoya Inoue before he steps into the prize-fighting ring. A stoppage seemed imminent in the lead-up to his latest performance, because his foe on Saturday night, Michael Dasmarinas, hadn’t gloved up with anyone approaching the takedown specialist from a skill-set perspective. 

The Japanese fighter gave the people their pound of flesh, finishing off Dasmarinas at 2:45 of the third round in Las Vegas at the Virgin Hotel Las Vegas, and on ESPN. Body shots proved to be too much for the loser to handle; he hit the mat in round two, and twice more in the following round on this Top Rank promotion. After the first trip to the floor in the third frame, he looked up at the clock, calculating how much time he’d have to spend trying to avoid getting finished off. The Monster wouldn’t be put off. 

The right side of Dasmarinas’ body will be smarting long after this night. (Photos by Mikey Williams)

The 28 year old Inoue entered with a 20-0 (17 KOs) record, while the 28 year old Dasmarinas, from the Philippines, entered with a 30-2-1 (20 KOs) mark. 

In the first, the three division world champ, the RING, WBA and IBF bantamweight belt-holder, gauged the lefties’ hand speed and tendencies in movement, and got to work. The left hook from Inoue flashed out like a rattler. The underdog moved a good deal, showing that he respected the power of Inoue from the outset. Defense was more so on his mind rather than summoning an attack plan.

In round two, Dasmarinas after being on his bike looked to thrust forward and tag Inoue. He didn’t connect much and then got back to moving. But the IBF’s mandated challenger once again looked to land power, trying a straight left. He paid for it, a left to the right lat put Dasmarinas to the canvas after a delay. He rose and Inoue went back to pummel the body. Another left hook to the ribs, and again, you saw Dasmarinas wince and then compose his face, not wanting to show weakness. He did manage to exit the round.

In the third, the stalker, a polite man whose fistic actions don’t reflect his public temperment, closed the distance more. Left to the body, again, Dasmarinas was not coming up with a defense for that thudding pain producer. And down he went, a body shot doing the damage. The fighter tabbed “Hot ‘n Spicy” rose, bless his stout heart. And again, a left hook to that side felled Dasmarinas….and this time the ref didn’t bother waiting to see if Dasmarinas could rise. He waved his hands, and Joe Tessitore enthused, “As advertised!”

The victor landed 17 body shots total, most of them clean and hurtful. 

Promoter Bob Arum wouldn’t be accused of hyperbole off of his assessment of the Japanese pugilist’s work. “Naoya Inoue is a unique force of nature inside that ring,” Arum said after the ending. “Another incredible performance from ‘The Monster.’ We are seeing a great fighter at work here, and he is only going to get better.”

Fight fans had some time to kill, because Inoue got finished early, so plenty of them probably dreamt of a rematch between Inoue and Nonito Donaire, who has flipped the bird at Father Time, and is fighting at a ridiculously high level for a 38 year old. It was announced today that Donaire, rated No. 1 behind Inoue at bantamweight by RING, will do battle with RING No. 2 bantam John Riel Casimero, who holds the WBO strap. 

After, Inoue offered some thoughts on the outing:

“Against the number one ranked fighter, Dasmarinas, I think I had a great win,” he stated. “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,” he said.

“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,” the winner shared. “Getting the win makes me smile, but to be able to fight the winner of Casimero and Donaire, that brings me another smile.”