Naoya Inoue became a three-division world champion with a vicious first-round knockout of Jamie McDonnell in May, and the Japanese superstar did not stop there.
Inoue (17-0, 15 KO's) capped off a phenomenal 2018 by knocking out another world-class opponent in Juan Carlos Payano in 70 seconds in the opening round of the World Boxing Super Series in October.
That knockout earned Inoue, one of the top pound-for-pound boxers in the world, the 2018 FightNights.com Knockout of the Year.
Inoue and Payano were pawing with the jab before Inoue unloaded with a one-two combination. The straight right hand landed right on the button and sent Payano crashing hard to the canvas. Payano tried to get up, but ended up rolling over with his face on the floor, leaving referee Pinit Prayadsab no choice but to call the fight off.
Teofimo Lopez's devastating knockout against Mason Menard was also a top candidate for KO of the year, but Inoue's destruction of a world-class opponent in just a single round carried more weight.