"The Monster" had quite the monstrous performance.
In his 118-pound debut in the main event of a world title doubleheader that streamed live on ESPN+ from the Ota-City General Gymnasium in Tokyo, Japanese superstar Naoya Inoue destroyed secondary bantamweight titlist Jamie McDonnell in a blistering first-round knockout victory to win a belt in his third weight class.
Inoue, similar to the likes of fellow three-division world champion Vasyl Lomachenko (11-1, 9 KO's), has won world titles in three divisions despite a relatively low number of fights.
Inoue (16-0, 14 KO's), 25, scored a sixth-round TKO of former titlist Adrian Hernandez to win a junior flyweight world title in just his sixth professional fight in 2014. Two fights later, Inoue impressed once again with a second-round knockout of Omar Andres Narvaez to win a second world title at junior bantamweight later that year. At the time, Narvaez was 43-1 and had never lost a fight by KO.
Inoue went on to defend the belt seven times before vacating it in April to move up to 118-pounds for a shot at McDonnell (29-3-1, 13 KO's), of England. And despite a five-inch height disadvantage, Inoue blasted through his opponent with ease.
It’s highly likely that Inoue now moves on to the next World Boxing Super Series which is bursting at the seams with elite-level bantamweights. However, despite the fact that world titleholders Zolani Tete, Ryan Burnett and Emanuel Rodriguez will be taking part, expect the fearsome Inoue (16-0, 14 knockouts) to be installed as favorite should be enter.
The 32-year-old McDonnell, who entered the bout rated No. 2 by THE RING at bantamweight, has repeatedly spoken about moving up to 122 pounds. He has claimed British, Commonwealth, European and world honors at 118 and there are no more dragons left to slay at the weight. Rolling the dice at junior featherweight is definitely an option.
Inoue confirmed after the fight that he will compete in the next World Boxing Super Series.
WBSS is an eight-man, single-elimination tournament. So far, just four fighters are confirmed, including Zolani Tete, Ryan Burnett, and Emanuel Rodriguez. But whoever the remaining four are, expect Inoue to be the favorite once the action begins.
"I'll participate in the World Boxing Super Series to face other world champions with pleasure," Inoue said.
On the undercard, Ken Shiro retained his WBC flyweight title and his unbeaten record with a second-round knockout of Glanigan Lopez after a thudding right hand to the body landed right on the money.
The bout was a rematch of a May 2017 fight, which saw Shiro escaping with a majority decision.