The impact that Naoya Inoue has made since turning professional a little under 12 years ago is startling, even more so when you attempt to rate his 10 finest performances.

  1. Adrian Hernandez, TKO 6 (April 6, 2014) 

Just 5-0 heading into his first world title fight, Inoue made it all look so very easy as he dominated and stopped the WBC junior flyweight boss inside six rounds.

  1. Jamie McDonnell, TKO 1 (May 25, 2018)

What an introduction to the bantamweight class this was. McDonnell, proven and sturdy at world level, was taken apart in 112 violent seconds.

  1. Marlon Tapales, KO 10 (December 26, 2023)

A beatdown of a double belt-holder exhibited the versatility of Inoue at the highest of levels as he claimed undisputed status in a second weight class.

  1. Juan Carlos Payano, KO 1 (October 7, 2018)

Arguably the most cinematic finish of Inoue’s career to date, the whip cracker right hand that stole Payano’s balance was beautifully orchestrated. 

  1. Nonito Donaire, UD 12 (November 7, 2019)

A thrilling affair that featured Inoue engaging in a rare competitive fight. That the injured Inoue (fractured right eye socket, no less) scored a knockdown so late in the bout (round 11) and Donaire survived it was testament to the qualities of both.

  1. Omar Andres Narvaez, KO 2 (December 30, 2014)

Arguably the performance that made the world pay attention. Showcasing an offensive repertoire that belied his 21 years, Inoue dethroned WBO junior bantamweight king Omar Andres Narvaez, who was making his 13th defence. Inoue dropped Narvaez twice in each of the first and second rounds. The veteran, who had only lost one of 46 bouts beforehand, could not rise following the fourth fall.

  1. Jason Moloney, KO 7 (October 31, 2020)

In Las Vegas, Inoue artfully outboxed Jason Moloney from range for the first six minutes before hurting his rival for the first time in round three, a left uppercut the offending blow. A right cross stunned Moloney in the fifth and, in the next, Inoue delved further into his box of tricks to floor his opponent, while going backwards, with the sweetest of left hooks. The finishing blow, a right hand that almost bent Moloney in half as he fell to the mat in round seven, was the best of the lot.

  1. Nonito Donaire, TKO 2 (June 7, 2022)

Whether Inoue had improved or Donaire had faded since their first encounter – in truth, it was a combination of both – the rematch was barely competitive. Inoue stalked Donaire, who came with the WBC bantamweight title, from the opening bell and scored a knockdown at the end of the first round. With the end nigh, Inoue set about his rival to complete the demolition job midway through the second.  

  1. Emmanuel Rodriguez, KO 2 (May 18, 2019)

Angered by an incident in which his father and coach, Shingo Inoue, was shoved by Rodriguez’s trainer, Williams Cruz, the “Monster” wasted no time in feasting on an opponent deemed a threat beforehand. Inoue made a mockery of those proclaiming the WBSS bantamweight semi-final a 50/50 matchup with a ferocious display, dropping Rodriguez three times and bloodying his nose for good measure.

  1. Stephen Fulton, TKO 8 (July 25, 2023)

    In one of the most complete and impressive performances of 2023, yet perhaps underappreciated because Terence Crawford thrashed Errol Spence Jr only days later, Inoue blitzed Stephen Fulton with unerring ease. Philadelphia’s Fulton – a talented and determined tradesmen labelled by plenty as the potential winner – came with ambition but was never in it before being rescued in round eight.