world boxing

Inoue under pressure to KO Dasmariñas in title defense

Roy Luarca

UNBEATEN. Naoya Inoue has yet to sustain a loss after 20 professional fights.

Naoya Inoue's Instagram page

The promoter of Japanese champion Naoya Inoue wants him to stop Filipino challenger Michael Dasmariñas in order for Inoue to attract more attention

Naoya Inoue is under pressure to knock out Michael Dasmariñas when they tangle at the Virgin Hotels in Las Vegas, Nevada on June 20 (Manila time).

His promoter, Hideyuki Ohashi, wants Inoue to stop the Filipino mandatory challenger in order for Inoue to attract more attention and enhance his reputation as the Japanese “Monster.”

“I want you to surprise American fans with the overwhelming knockout that seems to be a monster. I want you to show me a great knockout,” Ohashi told Inoue in Japanese during an online press conference on Saturday, May 15.

Inoue’s father and trainer, Shingo, said Dasmarinas punches hard and has a solid defense “but Nao (Naoya) can destroy it” with little trouble.

“I’m not worried about anything,” said Shingo.

Though he will be fighting a tall southpaw with a high knockout rate for the first time, Inoue believes he has trained well and would be able “to react more accurately to the opponent’s movements and punches.”

Dasmarinas stands 5-foot-7, two inches taller than Inoue, and holds a 30-2-1 record with 20 knockouts.

“I want to show a different boxing than usual,” said Inoue, who is 20-0 with 17 knockouts, including two against lefties Omar Andres Narvaez and Juan Carlos Payano.

Serving as Inoue’s spar mates for the Dasmariñas fight are lefties Reiya Abe (21-3-1, 9 KOs) and Ikuro Sadatsune (11-4-3, 4 KOs). He has also worked out with Rentaro Kimura (3-0, 3 KOs), also a lefty.

This early, Inoue is looking forward to a unification with a fellow 118-pound champion before the year ends.

Meaning, he’s bent on carrying out Ohashi’s order. –