By Allan Fox: In a one-sided fight, IBF/WBA bantamweight champion Naoya ‘Monster’ Inoue (22-0, 19 KOs) battered the tough but utterly limited little known #6 IBF Aran Dipaen (12-3, 11 KOs) before stopping him in the eighth round on Tuesday night in Kokugikan, Japan.
In the eighth round, the 28-year-old Monster Inoue dropped the tough Thai Dipaen with a left hook to the head. It wasn’t a big shot. The shot was a slapping left hook from Inoue that caught Dipaen while he was moving to his left, causing him to lose his balance.
After the action resumed, Inoue landed a big left hook that knocked Dipaen back a step. The referee Michiaki Someya then stepped in and halted the contest rather than allow Inoue to finish a tired and hurt Dipaen. The time of the stoppage was at 2:34 of round eight.
Dipaen showed toughness
It was an odd-looking fight with Inoue not sitting down on his shots and seemingly treating it like a sparring session.
In the first three rounds, Inoue uncharacteristically threw very few punches, and the shots he did throw had none of the power that fans are used to seeing from the Japanese knockout artist. It looked self-evident that Inoue was carrying Dipaen to get rounds in rather than trying to annihilate his hapless opponent.
It’s not surprising that Inoue took it easy on Dipaen because this guy was arguably totally undeserving of a title shot, and it’s unclear why Naoya’s promoter selected him for a crack at a world title.
Dipaen constantly moved to his right, circling endlessly to avoid getting hit by Inoue. With Dipaen showing zero interest in fighting back, Naoya stalked the reluctant Thai around the ring, speaking him with jabs and telegraphed right hands. It looked like Inoue would pose after exaggeratedly throwing his right.
Inoue walked into punches
When Dipaen did stop and fight back, Inoue would tee off on him with triple left hooks and uppercuts to the head. Dipaen looked like a little heavy bag that a bored-looking Inoue was pounding at will and didn’t look sporting due to the one-sided nature.
Perhaps the best shots that Dipaen landed in the fight were when he got Inoue walking in with his hands down. Dipaen tagged Inoue at times with some tasty-looking shots, making him look mortal. But there weren’t enough shots from Dipaen to keep Inoue honest, which made it one-sided.
The only positive thing about Dipaen is that he showed toughness in taking countless punches from Inoue. However, Monster Inoue would likely have stopped Dipaen in the first round if he’d sat down on his shots the way he usually does.
You can argue that Inoue knew he had an over-matched fodder-level opponent in there with him tonight, so he treated him like it was a glorified sparring session to give his paying fans a chance to watch him perform.
If you looked at Dipaen’s last six opponents coming into tonight’s contest with Inoue, they were genuinely woeful to the point where it was disturbing.
Why did ‘Monster’ Inoue choose Dipaen?
Dipaen’s opposition has been horrible in the last two years since 2019, after British fighter Tommy Frank beat him by a 12 round split decision in September 2019.
The real mystery is why on earth did Inoue’s promoter pick an over-matched and undeserving fighter like Dipaen for him to defend his IBF & WBA 118-lb titles rather than one of the qualified and better known contenders in the division?
Hopefully, Inoue doesn’t make it a habit of fighting guys like Dipaen in the future because he’s wasting his career fighting low-level opposition like this.
Dipaen’s last six opponents coming into tonight’s fight:
Wisitsak Saiwaew (6-8)
Jomar Fajardo (6-13-2)
Wisitsak Saiwaew (6-10)
Mochamad Sholimin (5-9-1)
Sapia Pohasae (0-0) – debut
Sukpraserd Ponpitak (26-11)
Look at those DREADFUL records of the last six opponents that Dipaen had fought going into tonight’s contest with Inoue. Do those look like the type of opposition for a fighter about to challenge for a world title?