By Allan Fox: Naoya ‘Monster’ Inoue and challenger Michael Dasmarinas both weighed in successfully on Friday for their ESPN televised bout this Saturday at the Virgil Hotels Las Vegas. IBF bantamweight champion Inoue (20-0, 17 KOs) weighed 118-lbs, while ‘Hot ‘N Spicy’ Dasmarinas (30-2-1, 20 KOs) weighed in slightly less at 117-4 lbs.
(Credit: Mikey Williams (Top Rank via Getty Images)
You can’t count out Dasmarinas in this fight because he’s got power and plenty tough. If Dasmarinas can hang in there to take Inoue into the deeper rounds, he could potentially hurt him and get out of there. As we saw in Inoue’s fight with Nonito Donaire, he can be hurt if he’s hit hard.
Donaire cut Inoue bad, broke his right eye bridge, and staggered him in the seventh. Of Course, Dasmarinas doesn’t possess the same type of power that Donaire has going for him, but he hits hard enough to do damage if he can stick around long enough.
That’s the entire problem. It’s not easy to last long against Monster Inoue because he’s such a huge puncher, and he’s incredibly accurate with his power shots.
If you’re Dasmarinas, it would be a good idea to go after Inoue early because he may not make it to the later rounds if he chooses to bide his time.
A victory for Inoue will set up a unification fight between him and WBC bantamweight champion Nonito Donaire. This will be a rematch from their fight in 2019. Donaire, 38, recently captured the WBC bantamweight title in stopping champion Nordine Oubaali in the fourth round on May 29th.
Inoue destroyed challenger Jason Moloney by a seventh-round knockout on Halloween on October 31st last year in his previous fight.
Although the contest didn’t end as early as some of Inoue’s recent fights, it was the way it ended. ‘Monster Inoue landed a precise right hand to the head of Moloney in the seventh that folded him up like an accordion.
Despite the impressive win, the perfectionist Inoue wasn’t entirely pleased with his performance. He wants to be perfect, and that wasn’t one of his best.
The former three-division world champion Inoue can’t afford to lose this fight against the motivated 28-year-old Dasmarinas because he hopes to face WBC champ Nonito Donaire next.
Inoue looks unstoppable right now, particularly since moving up to 118 three years ago. The only fighter that has been able to go the full 12 round distance against Inoue since he moved up in weight in 2018 was Donaire in 2019.
(ESPN, ESPN Deportes & ESPN+, 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT)
Inoue vs. Dasmarinas undercard weights:
- Mikaela Mayer 129.8 lbs vs. Erica Farias 128.2 lbs
- Adam Lopez 126 lbs vs. Isaac Dogboe 125.4 lbs
(ESPN+, 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT)
- Lindolfo Delgado 141.6 lbs vs. Salvador Briceno 141.2 lbs
- Eric Puente 136 lbs vs. Jose Antonio Meza 136.6
- Omar Rosario 140.5 lbs vs. JJ Mariano 140