Naoya Inoue kicked off the World Boxing Super Series bantamweight tournament with another astonishing first-round knockout.
This time, it is Juan Carlos Payano who was the recipient of a vicious right hand that knocked him out just 70 seconds into his fight against Inoue. Inoue now advances to the World Boxing Super Series semifinals and retained his WBA “regular” bantamweight title.
Inoue stood in the center of the ring, ready to strike whenever he got an open window. That came down as the first minute of the fight came, connecting with a single straight right and dropping Payano. Payano was not getting up in time to answer the referee’s 10 count, barely moving as he got put down onto the canvas.
It was the second fight for Inoue at 118 pounds after winning a world title at 108 and 115 pounds. Inoue won the WBA’s secondary world title with a first-round knockout win over then-champion Jamie McDonnell back in May. Inoue is also the third-quickest male boxer in history in terms of pro bouts fought to win a world title in three weight classes as Vasiliy Lomachenko and Kosei Tanaka are the only ones to have done it in fewer fights than Inoue’s 16 fights needed to reach that milestone.
The knockout also set records for a Japanese boxer. Inoue broke a tie with Yoko Gushiken for most consecutive knockout or stoppage wins in world title fights with Inoue scoring his seventh consecutive such victory. It also broke the all-time record set by Takashi Uchiyama for most knockout or stoppage victories in world title fights with Inoue getting his 11th such victory.
Inoue now awaits the winner of the IBF title fight between Emmanuel Rodriguez and Jason Moloney which is taking place on October 20 in Orlando, Florida. Inoue vs. the winner of Rodriguez-Moloney will be a WBSS semifinal bout taking place between the end of the year and early 2019.