First professional down and recovery, KO victory over the “bad boy” Neri! Champion Naoya Inoue: “Why he is a monster | FRIDAY DIGITAL

First professional down and recovery, KO victory over the “bad boy” Neri! Champion Naoya Inoue: “Why he is a monster

WBC World Bantamweight Champion Jyunjin Nakatani was amazed by his "super dimensional technique" in the world super bantamweight title match.

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on LINE
In the 6th round, he cornered Neri against the ropes and landed a ruthless combination of a right uppercut followed by a right hook. Neri was blown away and crumpled to the ground after striking his neck against the ropes.

Naoya Inoue (31), the four-time world super bantamweight champion, added another victory to his record with a 27-fight win streak and 24 KOs, defeating Luis Neri (29) in 1:22 of the 6th round.

The big match, held at the Tokyo Dome for the first time in 34 years, also featured the WBC bantamweight champion Jyunjin Nakatani (26), who is recognized as the “Next Monster,” or the second most talented fighter after Inoue.

The crowd was just over 40,000. I could feel the elation on Inoue’s face as he appeared on the aisle.

However, Inoue was hit by a left hook to his left uppercut in the first round and went down for the first time in his career. The large crowd froze. Nakatani saw the strength of the champion in this first round.

In the first round, you are more effective because your body is not warmed up yet,” Nakatani said. I got within range of Neri and he ate me. It was a totally unexpected turn of events, and I thought, “This must have worked,” but Inoue was calm. He didn’t panic and took his time to get up slowly.

The four-time champion shows a strong mental toughness that does not waver in a pinch.

His strength is that he always boxed his own way, no matter what the fight was. He moves his opponents and gets them to fight his way. I was impressed by the way he regrouped in the round immediately after going down.

In the second round, Nakatani roared at a counter left hook that Inoue landed when Neri lost his balance due to ducking a punch.

He showed great skill,” Nakatani said. That broke the first round upset and set the pace, and I was able to land a couple of no-motion right hands from about the end of the second round. I was impressed by the way he sensed that Neri was aiming for his left stomach and hit him with his body drawn back.”

He was being cut down by the super-dimensional technique of striking without letting up, and the damage was done. 5R, when Neri’s right guard was down, he landed a left hook that put him down for the second time.

Worn out, losing his defensive awareness and speed, it was only a matter of time before Neri sank.

The finish came with a right uppercut followed by a straight right hand. Neri was slowing down, so Inoue, who was in rhythm, hit him with a series of strikes from the flow. It is very difficult to land consecutive strikes from the same right, but it was perfect. I think I was taught once again the importance of concentration at the start of the fight and the importance of missing the opponent’s punches. Above all, I take my hat off to the success of the big match that filled Tokyo Dome to capacity.

Inoue more than demonstrated why he is a monster. At this event, all champions of the four bantamweight divisions, one below super bantam, became Japanese. Nakatani’s next target will be Inoue, who is aiming to unify the titles.

One night after the fierce battle, the monster has indicated that he may vacate his title, for as long as he reigns at the top of the four organizations, he will have to fight a series of bouts to be named champion. Whether in Japan, the Middle East, or Europe, the world-recognized legend will be slowly weighing his options for the next big match.

From the May 24, 2024 issue of FRIDAY

  • Interview and text by Soichi Hayashi (non-fiction writer) Photo by Hiroo Yamaguchi finito

Photo Gallery1 total

Photo Selection

Check out the best photos for you.

Related Articles