Inoue knocks out Dasmariñas; Donaire-Casimero clash set

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – JUNE 19: Referee Russell Mora calls off the fight between WBA/IBF bantamweight champion Naoya Inoue (R) of Japan and Michael Dasmarinas of the Philippines in the third round of their title fight at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas on June 19, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Steve Marcus/Getty Images/AFP (Photo by Steve Marcus / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)

Naoya Inoue, who goes by the “Monster” moniker, knocked out an overmatched Michael Dasmariñas on Saturday night in Las Vegas, even as two boxers linked to the Japanese boxer clash in a rare all-Filipino title bout.

The undefeated Inoue floored his Filipino foe thrice before forging the third-round stoppage.


“I just waited to see what he had and what he could take in the first round,” Inoue told ESPN. “After that, I was confident that I could take him out.”

That was the easy part for the bantamweight champion, who retained his World Boxing Association and International Boxing Federation belts.

The hard part is unifying the bantamweight titles. Barring any attempt to duck opponents, Inoue is on a collision course with either of a pair of Filipino bantamweight champions in Nonito Donaire and John Riel Casimero—both of whom have career paths that cross that of the Japanese star.

Donaire, who once broke Inoue’s orbital bone in a bruising battle before losing in a decision, battles Casimero, the brash talking puncher who has been trolling the Japanese since their fight was canceled, in a rare championship bout.

Traditionally, Filipino champions avoid having to face each other in a title fight, but Donaire and Casimero will trade mitts in August, with a bout against Inoue as an added prize.

Inoue successfully defended his titles by Dasmariñas, an overwhelming underdog, with body shots.

He floored the Filipino for the first time with a left hook to the body halfway through the second round. Though he managed to beat the count, Dasmariñas was clearly already too shook up to contend.

In the last minute of the third, Inoue threw the same punch—at the same target—to send Dasmariñas to the canvas two more times before referee Russel Mora called it a night.

It was Inoue’s 18th KO win in 21 fights, a significant feat for a boxer who rose from light flyweight. Dasmarinas, the 28-year-old from Bangar, La Union, fell to 30-3-1. INQ

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