Japanese knockout artist and current IBF/WBA bantamweight champion Naoya Inoue showed the audience why his nickname is called “Monster” on Saturday night in Glasgow, Scotland when he made easy work of undefeated Puerto Rican IBF champion Emmanuel Rodriguez.
Inoue (18-0, 16 KOs) started the fight patient and showed very sharp punches. Emmanuel Rodriguez looked overconfident going into the ring, he was staying in the middle trying to use his size and trade blows with the Japanese puncher and the two fighters were able to make it out of the first round without taking any damage.
It seemed being able to survive the first round gave the Puerto Rican champion confidence going into the second.
After the initial feeling out round it was clear as day that Inoue was ready to turn up the offense. He had a willing partner in Rodriguez who refused to use his jab and counter punch but mix it up with power shots.
The two champions traded hooks and Inoue’s left hook landed fast and powerful on the Puerto Rican’s chin sending him down to the canvas.
A dazed Rodriguez was able to beat the count but his nose was bloodied. As he got up he had not time to breath as Inoue saw blood and rushed him with a flurry of fast power shots dropping him again this time with a body shot.
Rodriguez looked to his corner nodding his head as if to tell his corner he was done. He got up and was dropped again with another body shot by the Japanese KO artist, the ref has seen enough and waved it off.
Inoue advances to the finals of the WBSS tourney and Rodriguez (19-1, 12 KOs) left the ring with his first professional defeat.
After the fight Inoue was joined in the ring by WBA super champion Nonito “Filipino Flash” Donaire. The two will face off in the finals of the World Boxing Super Series Bantamweight tournament for the Ali Trophy and a chance to unify the titles.