Naoya Inoue Knocks Out Juan Carlos Payano in the First Round
By Hector Franco | Senior Writer and Editor
Published: October 08, 2018
In the first round of the Bantamweight (118) portion of the World Boxing Super Series tournament, Japan’s Naoya “Monster” Inoue (17-0, 15 KOs) proved to establish himself as the tournament favorite scoring an emphatic first-round knockout over former WBA bantamweight champion, Juan Carlos Payano (20-2, 9 KOs). The fight took place in Inoue’s native Japan at the Yokohama Arena.
The bout started with both men circling one another and then in one instant, Inoue landed a perfect straight right hand that dropped Payano to the canvas. Payano, who hails from the Dominican Republic, did not look like he was going to be able to recover from the punch forcing the referee to put a halt to the bout at the 1:10 mark of the first round.
The victory would mark the first title defense of the 25-year old Inoue’s WBA bantamweight title. Last May, Inoue moved up from the super flyweight (115) division to the bantamweight division. In his first fight in the division, Inoue scored a first-round stoppage over Jamie McDonnell to win the WBA bantamweight championship. With fewer than 20 fights on his record, Inoue is a three-division champion and considered one of the best fighters in the world pound-for-pound. Before facing Inoue, Payano’s only other defeat was a majority decision loss to Rau-shee Warren in the summer of 2016.
Inoue’s combination of proper technique with placement and vaunted punching power has earned him his moniker of “Monster.” It is going to be difficult for the participants in the bantamweight World Boxing Super Series to compete with him. The Japanese fighter's next opponent will be the winner of the upcoming Emmanuel Rodriguez-Jason Moloney bout-taking place in Orlando, Florida on October 20th. That fight is for the IBF bantamweight title giving Inoue the opportunity to fight in a title unification bout for the first time in his career.
As of now Japan’s “Monster” has only fought outside of his native country once in his career. The exposure that he will receive with the World Boxing Super Series can put Inoue in a position to be in more high profile fights that will put him in line with fighters such as Terence Crawford and Vasiliy Lomachenko. Inoue has nothing but time on his side, and at the pace that he is currently going, he could make the boxing hall-of-fame before his 30th birthday.
(Featured Photo: World Boxing Super Series)