Naoya “The Monster” Inoue has claimed another win in short, yet spectacular fashion.
In less than two complete rounds, Inoue easily took care of Emmanuel Rodriguez to not only capture the IBF bantamweight title but also advance to the World Boxing Super Series finals.
Like in his first two fights at bantamweight, Inoue asserted his dominance from the opening bell, landing numerous left hooks to Rodriguez. Rodriguez managed to handle those shots well and even landed some decent punches that pushed Inoue back for a bit, but Inoue shrugged off all of his opponent's punches in the first round. Unlike the first two fights Inoue has had at bantamweight, this one managed to see a second round, but not much else.
Early in the second round, Inoue landed a stiff left hand to Rodriguez’s face, immediately dropping him to the canvas. Rodriguez managed to get back up, although he had to deal with blood running down from his nose. Inoue immediately went to attack Rodriguez’s body, dropping him a second and third time seconds after the initial knockdown. Once Rodriguez was dropped a third time, the referee decided to end the contest right then and there.
The 26-year-old Inoue, a three-division world champion, has only fought roughly two complete rounds in the WBSS. His first fight in the global tournament saw Inoue score a vicious knockout over former champion Juan Carlos Payano in the first round last October.
Inoue now advances to the WBSS finals where he will face WBA “Super” champion Nonito Donaire at a date and venue to be announced in the future. The winner of the tournament not only walks away with the WBA “Super” and IBF titles, but also the Muhammad Ali Trophy.