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Naoya ‘Monster’ Inoue vs. Michael Dasmarinas on June 19th in Las Vegas

Naoya Inoue

By Chris Williams: In a disappointing fight, Naoya ‘Monster’ Inoue (20-0, 17 KOs) will be defending against his IBF bantamweight strap against little-known mandatory Michael Dasmarinas (30-2-1, 20 KOs) on June 19th on ESPN in Las Vegas, Nevada. The venue has yet to be decided.

The 28-year-old Dasmarinas’s only notable win on his nine-year professional resume is Karim Guerfi, who he sopped in the fourth round in 2018.

This is the same Guerfi that was knocked out in one round by Lee McGregor on March 19th.

In other words, the International Boxing Federation has given Dasmarinas a high ranking without him having proven himself against the best contenders in the 118-lb division.

That’s a criticism that many boxing fans have about the IBF. They sometimes give obscure fighters a high #1 ranking, which leads to terrible mismatches.

Naoya Inoue

The chances are high that we will see that play out when the seemingly overmatched Dasmarinas challenges IBF/WBA bantamweight champion Inoue on June 19th on ESPN.

Surprisingly, Inoue’s promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank doesn’t seem to be in a rush to match him against WBO 118-lb champion John Riel Casimero (30-4, 21 KOs) despite the huge fan interest in seeing that fight.

Casimero is 32-years-old, and he’s not young enough to wait two or three years for Arum to match him against Inoue finally.

Of course, if the idea is to age Casimero so that he’s less of a threat to beating Inoue, it makes sense for Arum to delay making the fight for as long as possible.

Inoue is a fighter that Arum is trying to turn into a star in the United States. If he puts him in with Casimero right now, he could ruin his plans. “

We can make that fight down the line. That would be a good fight,” Arum said to RingTV about a fight between Inoue and Casimero.

“Who’s the big fight for him? I think he’s going to go up in weight,” Arum said.

Casimero and ‘Monster’ Inoue were supposed to have fought last year in April 2020, but the fight failed to happen.

Instead of Inoue facing Casimero in a risky fight, he took on an overmatched Jason Moloney last October. He blew him out of the water with an easy seventh-round knockout in Las Vegas.

As far as Inoue potentially moving up to 122, that’s still up in the air. Arum would like to match the Japanese star against WBC 118-lb belt holder Nordine Ouabaali and former four-division world champion Nonito Donaire before moving up to super bantamweight.

Arum sees the Ouabaali fight as easier to put together for Inoue than Donaire “because the people who have Oubaali are close to us.

“We will discuss all of that in June when [Monster Naoya] is over here for the fight,” said the Top Rank boss Arum.

Naoya Inoue

Ouabaali is a decent fight for Inoue, but it’s likely to be as bad of a mismatch as his recent blowout win over Moloney. The only guys that can give Inoue a tough time at 118 are Casimero and Donaire, and we saw how tough of a time Naoya had against Nonito in 2019.

You can’t blame Arum if he chooses not to set-up a rematch between Inoue and Donaire. Even though Donaire is no longer in his prime, his punching power is still at 100% capacity, and he could break Inoue apart like he was doing to him last time.



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