“The Monster” has officially invaded boxing’s bantamweight division and it took less than two minutes for him to do so.
In Naoya Inoue’s bantamweight debut, Inoue knocked down, then stopped Jamie McDonnell in less than two minutes to win the WBA “regular” bantamweight title. The fight, which took place in Tokyo, was streamed live in the morning for boxing fans in the United States on ESPN+, giving American fans a look at Inoue before entering the World Boxing Super Series.
Inoue started the fight on fire, wasting no time to knock down McDonnell. A left hook upstairs stunned McDonnell and forced him to the ropes and Inoue scored the first knockdown with a left body hook. Once McDonnell got right back up, Inoue cornered the champion and unloaded a series of lefts and rights that McDonnell couldn’t respond and the referee stopped the fight as McDonnell was going down to the canvas for the second time in the round.
This was Inoue’s sixth consecutive stoppage win and 14th stoppage win in his 16 fights as a pro boxer. Inoue also becomes a three-division champion in his 16th fight, achieving the fight faster than any other male boxer in modern history outside of Vasiliy Lomachenko, who became a three-division champion in his 12th fight on May 12.
With the win, Inoue now enters the World Boxing Super Series bantamweight tournament, where he will likely be the overall No. 1 seed and heavy favorite. He joins WBA “super” champion Ryan Burnett, WBO champion Zolani Tete and IBF champion Emmanuel Rodriguez. The rest of the eight-man tournament has not been unveiled yet.