Naoya Inoue scored his 16th professional victory and 14th via knockout to become the new World Boxing Association (WBA) World Bantamweight Champion. “The Monster” dropped the previous champion Jamie McDonnell two times in the first round to win his third divisional title while also being the first man to beat McDonnell inside the distance.
The fight took place at the Ota City General Gymnasium in Tokyo, Japan, and was streamed live via ESPN+, the new streaming service just launched last month by the network sports giant that will feature sporting events not shown on their normal television network.
Despite it being Inoue’s first fight at the bantamweight limit he looked fit and strong as ever, as he claimed to be before the fight, coming out in the first round throwing body shots on the champion while gauging his distance and timing.
A left to the body dropped McDonnell midway through the first round and it spelled the end for the champions near four year reign as he climbed off the canvas only to be trapped on the ropes by the aggressive, power punching challenger.
The referee called the fight off with Inoue throwing powerful combinations that the champion was not responding to as he fell to the canvas for a second time while looking out-gunned by the young, hungry, powerful challenger.
“The Monster” looked every bit his nickname, as many fans and journalists rank him at or near the very best pound for pound in the world. It was a tough loss for McDonnell, with it being his first stoppage defeat in over twelve years as a professional.