Filipino boxers

Dasmariñas gets world title crack versus Inoue in Japan

Roy Luarca

READY. Michael Dasmariñas plans to continue training as he awaits the final date of his next big fight.

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IBF mandatory challenger Michael Dasmariñas has long been pining to tangle with unbeaten Japanese Naoya Inoue

There’s no date yet, but the confirmation that Michael Dasmariñas is getting a crack at Naoya Inoue’s world title is enough to spur the Hardstone Monis Gym into an activity hive on Saturday, January 16.

Dasmariñas was in high spirits as he trained with Tacy Macalos before the keen eyes of gym owner and his manager, Art Monis, in Bangar, La Union.

The International Boxing Federation mandatory challenger has long been pining to tangle with Inoue and he’s just happy to be given that chance, hopefully before spring ends in Japan.

MP (Manny Pacquiao) Promotions head Sean Gibbons, who represents Dasmariñas in the negotiations, said the Japanese organizers are “not sure when they can do the fight” because of the Tokyo soft lockdown brought about by the recent spike in coronavirus cases.

For Dasmariñas, who totes a 30-win, 2-loss, 1-draw record, the date and venue of the 12-rounder doesn’t matter. All he wants is to test his mettle against the unbeaten Inoue (20-0, 17 knockouts).

According to Monis, Dasmariñas will continue doing light training until there’s already a definite date.

“It’s still too early (for hard training),” said Monis in Filipino. “We will just make sure Michael is in good condition, then do the hard grind two months before the fight.”

This early, however, Dasmariñas and Macalos are already studying and plotting the fight strategies suitable against Inoue.

Monis believes Dasmariñas can match up with Inoue, whose unification with World Boxing Organization champion Johnriel Casimero last April got canceled due to COVID-19 as far as speed and power is concerned.

At 5-foot-7, Dasmariñas is taller than Inoue by 2 inches and holds the same edge in reach.

On record, though, Inoue has a knockout rate of 85% against Dasmariñas’ 60.6%. –

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