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Home » Naoya Inoue picks himself off the canvas to destroy Luis Nery

Naoya Inoue picks himself off the canvas to destroy Luis Nery

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Naoya Inoue demolished Luis Nery in six rounds at a packed Tokyo Dome to cement his dominance of the sport as the number one fighter on the planet.

More than 34 years since the stadium hosted Mike Tyson’s first loss against James’ Buster’ Douglas, “The Monster” moved to 27-0, 24 KOs, and remained boxing’s pound-for-pound king. For his adoring fans who packed the venue from the first bout, Inoue made it worth the three-decade wait.

However, he did it after being floored in the first round by a dogged Nery who seemed determined to make a statement from the first bell. He caught Inoue with a superb shot, dropping the undisputed super bantamweight champion as a stunned crowd gasped. Inoue was floored early by a counter left hand as he hunted Nery down.

Taking a round from the Japanese superstar was hard enough, and Nery couldn’t sustain it under immense retaliation pressure. The challenger was down from a counter left hook in the next round as Inoue’s superior strength took over. Inoue then began breaking Nery down during the ensuing rounds. He scored knockdowns in the fifth and sixth, the latter rocking the Mexican former two-division world champion’s head back. The fight was over at 1:22 as Inoue landed consecutive right hands.

In only his second defeat, Nery dropped to 35-2, 27 KOs. As pointed out by Top Rank, Inoue’s triumph marked the 22nd world title victory following the tenth anniversary of winning his first world title in 2014.

Addressing the immense crowd after his win, Inoue said: “I appreciate Nery. That’s why I shook hands with him after the fight. The knockdown motivated me. I’m thankful to have fought against a great fighter in Nery.

“I don’t remember anything my dad [head trainer Shingo Inoue] told me in the intermission, but what happened motivated me. I was so focused until the end of the fight. Thank you so much to everyone for witnessing my fight. There are over 40,000 people here in the Tokyo Dome. I promise to keep giving you fights that excite you.”

Top Rank Chairman Bob Arum added: “Inoue is among the greatest fighters I’ve promoted, and he was sensational once again. Nery came to win, but ‘The Monster’ was too much.”

Inoue brought Sam Goodman into the ring after the contest to confirm his next title defense, likely to be staged in Japan this fall.

Read all articles and exclusive interviews by Phil Jay. Learn more about the author, experienced boxing writer, and World Boxing News Editor since 2010. Follow on Twitter @PhilJWBN.