Japanese ’Monster’ Naoya Inoue wows Glasgow and hammers Emmanuel Rodriguez to book his WBSS final place
Three-weight world champion. WBSS finalist. And new IBF bantamweight ruler Naoya Inoue has barely broken a sweat in his last three fights.
In only his second contest outside his native Japan, the unbeaten "Monster" thrilled the crowd at Glasgow’s SSE Hydro by ending the IBF title reign and World Boxing Super Series journey of quality Puerto Rican Emmanuel Rodriguez.
After a competitive opening round which saw both chucking bombs, Rodriguez, perhaps unwisely, opted to continue trading into the second. The first knockdown came from a compact left hand that also appeared to damage Rodriguez’s nose. The second, and arguably more significant, came from a right to the pit of Manny’s stomach. Prone and bleeding, Rodriguez shook his head towards his corner yet bravely rose. A final barrage dropped him again and, though he got up again, referee Michael Alexander sensibly waved the fight off.
After a fractious build-up, Inoue left the exclamation point in under two rounds.
Inoue showed exemplary balance, timing, accuracy and, of course, power. This win further presses his pound-for-pound credentials. As fellow WBSS finalist Nonito Donaire noted after the fight, he now has to work out a way to tame the "Monster". That may be the biggest challenge of the veteran’s storied career.