We at 3DBoxing are a rare bread among the boxing media we give equal love to all fighters. That includes the little guys. The smaller fighters have been lighting it up and doing big things. None have captured the attention of boxing fans more than Japanese monster Naoya Inoue. The little man just grabbed the WBA “Regular” strap is devastating fashion. Ending Jamie McDonnell in less than two minutes becoming a three-division world champion. Something earlier this month Lomachenko was praised for accomplishing over and over and over again. But Inoue who lives up to his nickname “Monster” every time he steps in the ring garners almost no attention outside of hardcores, in accomplishing the same, if not more than Loma has in the professional ranks. Loma fought primetime Saturday night in the “Mecca of Boxing” in a fight ESPN advertised and hyped for weeks. Inoue fought on an ESPN app at six in the morning (Texas time) that you need chrome cast (or similar device) to watch on your tv or you were relegated to watching it on your tablet or smartphone or laptop with black coffee in hand while trying to wipe the sleep out of your eye.
The Japanese sensation ranks number five on our most recent pound for pound list that was released earlier this month. He will certainly be on the rise when we release new rankings. How high could the Monster rise to on our list? Well, assuming Terence Crawfords succeeds in capturing gold in his outing next month against Jeff Horn, Bud will have also captured a world title in his third weight class and he was undisputed at 140. So he can’t pass him yet, but whos number two on the list? Vasyl Lomachenko. Comparing the resumes of the two, Inoue matches up nicely. They have both captured gold in three different weight classes, except Inoue skipped right over the 112-pound, flyweight, division going straight from junior fly to super fly. In doing so he destroyed future hall of famer Omar Narvaez knocking him down four times in two rounds in route to capturing his second world title in just eight fights. Narvaez dominated the superfly division for nearly a decade and was unbeaten in the division up until that time. This would be similar to say, Keith Thurman or Errol Spence jumping over 154, going right to middle and knocking out Golovkin. This is an incredible feat and marks the best win of Inoue’s career a destruction of a legendary fighter two weight classes bigger than him. For Lomachenko his best win is over a future hall of famer as well, possibly, Guillermo Rigondeaux who was two weight classes smaller, not two weight classes bigger. The rest of their resumes are pretty comparable, the Ukrainian has wins over Gary Russell Jr for a vacant strap, Nicolas Walters and most recently his stoppage of Linares. The Japanese champion has put together quality wins over Kohei Kono, as well as Adrian Hernandez in addition to Friday’s win over McDonnell. Inoue also is undefeated and has done this all a month after turning only 25-years-old. Lomachenko has already suffered a loss and it took him until he was 30 to capture a title in his third weight class. All things considered, Inoue’s run thus far has been more impressive than Loma’s. So yea, in our next P4P ratings, expect to see Inoue ahead of Lomachenko, forget what everyone tells you. The Monster’s resume is better than Hi-Tech’s.
As for Friday’s fight, well, Inoue made it look easy despite a 5-inch height deficit against the 5-foot-10 champ. Inoue came right after the champ attacking him to the body immediately and backing his man up and stunning him. Then put him on queer street with an overhand right. Inoue continued relentlessly with combinations, and seconds after the right hand hurt McDonnell, a left to the body dropped McDonnell. McDonnell was up at the count of five, and immediately driven back into the ropes by the Monster who then unleashed a furious nine-punch flurry, rocking him badly with a left hook to the head and with a right hand that dropped him again causing referee Luis Pabon to step in and wave off the fight officially at the time of 1 minute, 52 seconds.
The best part of Naoya Inoue, unlike many of the top names and most exciting fighters in the sport today, he stays active fighting three times last year. He confirmed his plan to stay active in 2018, following the knockout victory over McDonnell immediately saying “I’ll participate in the World Boxing Super Series to face other world champions with pleasure,”. Inoue will join a tournament that is filling out to be incredibly talent loaded, joining him thus far will be WBA “super” champion Ryan Burnett (19-0, 9 KOs), WBO champ Zolani Tete (27-3, 21 KOs) and IBF champ Emmanuel Rodriguez (18-0, 12 KOs) have all confirmed their plans to participate in the tournament. If Inoue continues to show that he can be a Monster as his moves up and can defeat the likes of Ryan Burnett, who ranks #9 on our P4P list, and undefeated Puerto Rican sensation Manny Rodriguez, we will have a new star and possibly a new p4p king.