WBA World Champion Naoya Inoue breaks down his KO strategy against Payano and predicts Rodriguez to beat Moloney. Kalle Sauerland calls ‘Monster’ No. 1 puncher in the world.
May 25, Japan’s Inoue stunned boxing fans by finishing off British champion Jamie McDonnell a little less than two minutes into their WBA bantamweight world title bout.
And on a magical Sunday night on October 7th, in front of a sold-out Yokohama Arena in Japan, ‘Monster’ knocked out former world champion Juan Carlos Payano with an electrifying one-two blow just 70 seconds after the opening bell.
“I am satisfied with these fights. In fact, the faster it ends, the better it is,” Inoue says.
The fans in Yokohama clearly wasn’t disappointed with a pair of punches and only 70 seconds of action assessed on their smiles and the volume in their cheering. And their hero was equally happy with an early night.
“You want to wrap up your job as quickly as you can. I might not always speak openly about knockouts, but it is always on my mind.”
The 25-year-old (17-0, 15 KOs), a three-weight world champion (Light-flyweight, Junior-bantamweight, Bantamweight), tells that he had practiced the combination, making his executing right hidden from southpaw Payano.
“I threw a jab from the inside of Payano so I could blind him. That was the strategy and the last right was also something I have been practicing a lot and it happened to connect at the very beginning,” Inoue says.
Just a pair of punches was all it took to take out a man who had never been knocked out in his eight-year-long career.
“Having knocked my opponents out in my last two fights, now I know my punching power and sharpness are effective in the bantamweight class.”
Kalle Sauerland, Comosa’s Chief Boxing Officer, describes Inoue as loaded with bombs in his hands.
“His performance was absolutely incredible. It is simply a statement. It is unbelievable to watch the way he switches from the left to the right, basically to knockout punches in one,” Sauerland says.
“I’ve seen guys knock people out in five seconds, but you must not forget; the guy he was facing was Payano. It wasn’t someone we picked up off the streets. It was a former world champion.”
Sauerland compares Inoue’s potent punches with some of the world’s best pugilists like Anthony Joshua, Deontay Wilder, Gennady Golovkin and Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez.
“These are great punchers,” Sauerland says.
“But this (Inoue) is the best puncher in the world. This is without a doubt the No. 1 puncher on the planet. Not in Japan, not in Asia, not in America, but on the planet.”
“Inoue has set the bantamweight edition of the World Boxing Super Series on fire. The other guys in the tournament will look at Inoue and say; there is a monster in the field so I better train harder.”
In the semi-final, Inoue will face the winner of the Ali Trophy Quarter-Final between IBF World Champion Emmanuel Rodriguez and Jason Moloney. And Inoue will be watching the action ringside in Orlando and face-off with the winner in the ring after the fight.
“I think Rodriguez will win that fight. I expect him to be my opponent in the semi-final,” Inoue says.
The second Ali Trophy bout of the huge night of boxing in Orlando is a cruiserweight clash between Yunier Dorticos and Mateusz Masternak.
Tickets for the WBSS Quarter-Finals – Rodriguez vs Moloney & Dorticos vs Masternak – starting from $30 (plus fees) are on sale at TicketMaster.com.
Fans in the U.S. can watch LIVE on DAZN, the global sports streaming platform. To sign up for a one-month free trial, fans can visit DAZN.com or download the DAZN app to their preferred connected device.