By Allan Fox: Naoya ‘Monster’ Inoue will be returning to the ring this Saturday, June 19th, to defend his IBF/WBA bantamweight titles against #1 IBF, #8 WBA contender Michael Dasmarinas on ESPN at the Virgin Hotels Las Vegas.
Inoue (20-0, 17 KOs) will be looking to pick up his 21st consecutive victory against Dasmarinas (30-2-1, 20 KOs) in the main event in this Top Rank promoted card.
The Top Rank co-promoted Inoue fought for the first time in the U.S in his last fight on October 31, defeating Jason Moloney by a seventh-round knockout in Las Vegas.
‘Monster’ Inoue knocked out the Australian Moloney with a beautiful right hand to the head in that fight.
‘Monster’ Inoue looking hard to beat
Inoue has already captured world titles at light flyweight  and super flyweight , making him a three-division world champion.
A year and a half ago, Inoue won the toughest fight of his career, beating former four-division world champion Nonito Donaire by a 12 round unanimous decision in November 2019 in Saitama, Japan.
Inoue was stunned by a big shot from Donaire in the clash and wound up with a cracked eye ridge and bad cut.
If not for Inoue’s excellent defense, he might have been broken down and stopped by Donaire. Inoue dodged some of Donaire’s best shots, which ultimately made the difference in the fight.
Although Donaire wanted a rematch, it hasn’t happened yet with Inoue. With that said, now that Donaire is the new WBC 118-lb champion after his recent fourth-round demolition job on champ Nordine Oubaali on May 29th, Ioue is expected to face him in a unification bout soon.
The powerful Filipino challenger Dasmarinas hasn’t lost a fight in the last seven years of his career since getting beaten by little-known Lwandile Sityatha by a 12 round split decision in December 2014.
Three years ago, Dasmarinas fought to a 10 round draw against Manyo Plange in September 2018. Since then, Dasmarinas had beaten Kenny Demecillo in an IBF title eliminator and journeyman Artid Bamrungauea in a stay busy fight in October 2019.
Dasmarinas coming off a long layoff
One thing that Dasmarinas has going against him in this fight with Inoue is his inactivity. Dasmarinas last fought twenty months ago, and that’s a long period to be out of the ring when you’re taking on a talented fighter like Inoue.
Dasmarinas has only been knocked out once earlier in his career, getting stopped by Marbon Bodiongan in the second round in 2012.
That was a long time ago, and Dasmarinas has improved a lot. It’ll be interesting to see if Dasmarinas can go the full 12 rounds with Inoue on Saturday. Just going the distance with Inoue would be a huge accomplishment.
Isaac Dogboe vs. Adam ‘Blunose’ Lopez
Former WBO super bantamweight champion Isaac Dogboe (21-2, 15 KO will be facing Adam ‘Blunose’ Lopez (15-2, 6 KOs) in a 10 round fight on the card.
Dogboe has been struggling as of late, having lost two out of his last three fights. However, both of those losses came against the talented Emanuel Navarrete. Dogboe has since rebounded with a victory over the always tough Chris Avalos by an eighth-round knockout last year in July.
‘Blunose’ Lopez, 25, has a two-fight winning streak since getting knocked out in seven rounds by Oscar Valdez in November 2019.
Lopez surprisingly dropped Valdez in the second round of that fight. Unfortunately, it was downhill from there for Lopez, as Valdez took him to school after that flash knockdown.
The Glendale, California native Adam Lopez has looked good in his last two fights, beating Louie Corie and Jason Sanchez by a pair of 10 round majority decisions.
Mikaela Mayer vs. Erica Farias
Also on the card is WBO female junior lightweight world champion Mikaela Mayer defending against Erica Farias in the chief support bout. Farias is a two-time world champion and expected to give Mayer a run for her money.
Inoue vs. Dasmarinas start time & where to watch
Inoue vs. Dasmarinas will be shown on ESPN, ESPN Deportes & ESPN+, at 10:00 p.m. ET/ 7:00 p.m. PT