world boxing

Dasmariñas heads to Vegas, ready for title duel with Inoue

Roy Luarca

UNDERDOG. Michael Dasmarinas hopes to pull off an upset against Japanese Naoya Inoue.

Alvin S. Go/Rappler

Michael Dasmariñas faces unbeaten unified champion Naoya 'The Monster' Inoue on June 19

Michael Dasmariñas has done what needs to be done. It’s time to go to the battleground.

His body toughened and his skills sharpened by months of intense training in the Philippines and Los Angeles, Dasmariñas closes camp at Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood and heads to Virgin Hotels Las Vegas, where he’ll try to snatch Naoya Inoue’s World Boxing Association and International Boxing Federation bantamweight belts on Saturday, June 19 (Sunday, June 20, Philippine time).

Tagged as a huge underdog, Dasmariñas (30 wins, 2 losses, 1 draw, 20 knockouts) feels upbeat on his chances of stunning the unbeaten Japanese “Monster” who has knocked out 17 of 20 victims thus far.

“I believe in myself and I’m giving my 100 % best on fight night,” said Dasmariñas. “This is the biggest break of my career and I would do all that we practice during training and sparring to win.”

For bettors, Dasmariñas has minimal chances with 95% of them siding with Inoue, who aims to knock Dasmariñas out in explosive fashion to impress worldwide viewers.

With the hard grind over, Dasmariñas’ focus shifts to cutting down on weight.

Shifting to a no-rice diet of fish and vegetables since Sunday, Dasmariñas is down to 123 pounds and expects no trouble making the 118-pound limit on Friday.

Accompanying Dasmariñas in his first stint in Las Vegas is his chief trainer Tacy Macalos, managers Art Monis and Wilma Acosta, assistant trainer Ting Ariosa, and world title prospect Mark Magsayo and his wife France.

According to Monis, who’ll man Dasmariñas’ corner with Macalos and Ariosa, his ward is in high spirits and is excited to test the mettle of Inoue.

“He fears no one and won’t get intimated by anyone,” said Monis. “He’s ready for battle.” –