Just moments ago Japanese fans, and those international fans with streams for Fuji TV, saw Japanese wunderkind Naoya Inoue (10-0, 8) [井上 尚弥] make the second defense of his WBO Super Flyweight title as he over-came tough mandatory challenger David Carmona (20-3-5, 8) and a serious injury.
In the opening seconds Inoue made his intent known, landing a huge shot up top that seemed to wobble Carmona, who instantly backed up looking and looked to become the counter puncher for the round. It worked in spells, but those spells were few and far between Inoue consistently finding a home for power shots, one of which stunned Carmona just before the bell.
The second round was a more controlled effort from Inoue who picked his shots better than he had in the opening and applied more intelligent pressure looking for holes in Carmona's tight defense. Given how tight Carmona's defense was and how unwilling he was to let his hands go when Inoue was coming forward it seemed that Inoue looked to change tactic in round 3 when he began to back up and almost allow Carmona to let his hands go a little. That didn't last long however as Inoue's aggressive instincts kicked in half way through the round and he just easily walked Carmona backwards. Carmona did however end the round with some aggression and it seemed almost like he had found a footing in the bout.
Having had some success in round 3 Carmona began to fight more aggressively in round 4. The higher level of aggression from Carmona seemed to be want Inoue was wanting and half way through round 4 the Monster found some solid shots through the guard of Carmona. Following those solid shots Carmona went back on to defense and spent almost a minute looking to avoid Inoue. Carmona did try and show some offense late but by then it was too little too late.
Round 5 was another where Carmona was willingly backing up with only moments of offense. Those moments were probably foolish as they ended up really annoying Inoue who went into “seek and destroy” mode battering Carmona around the ring for almost a minute as the Monster smelled blood. To his credit Carmona saw out the round without being dropped but it was a nightmare round for the challenger.
After having shown some vicious intent in round 5 Inoue eased off during the early stages of round 6, but still managed to land the most eye catching shots of the round. Carmona, at one point, got Inoue on the ropes but was given a beating following it and appeared to be a fighter living on grit and determination alone.
At the end of round 6 it seemed that Inoue had hurt his right hand and through round 7 he fought very cautiously, using only his lead hand on a consistent basis, and relying on the experience of his fight with Yuki Sano. Even one handed Inoue seemed to out box Carmona, though was much less explosive than he had been in rounds 5 and 6.
The boxing skills of Inoue were on show again in round 8 as he again fought 1 handed. Carmona had much more success, seemingly realising he was up against a 1-handed fighter. Although Carmona had the hand advantage he lacked the skills and speed to cope with Inoue who found a home for his jab and hook, and did, albeit rarely, unload with the right hand.
By round 9 the pace and excitement of the bout had died. Inoue was too good for Carmona, even with one hand, for the Mexican to try to be too adventurous whilst Inoue was showing caution and when he did, sparingly, use the right hand it was aimed at the body of Carmona.
In round 10 it seemed like Inoue was willing to risk his right hand again and and unloaded a 2-fisted assault on Carmona after hurting the Mexican. Carmona, to his genuine credit, saw out the storm once again.
Round 11 was another quieter round, with Inoue happy to win the round boxing and not take any real risks. In the final round however Inoue began to seek a stoppage again and went after Carmona as the crowd suddenly woke up, dropping the Mexican with about 30 seconds left. Inoue could smell the unlikely stoppage and went off unloading on the Mexican who just did enough to see out the bell, and the 12 rounds.
The 10-8 in round 12 helped secure a wide win for Inoue with scores of 118-109, 118-109 and a bizarrely close 116-111. It also gave him his first complete 12 round bout.
Although Inoue wasn't his most impressive here, or even close to his most destructive, he showed poise and genuine calmness despite the hand injury. He showed that he can cope when he's having to go through real adversity and that he has the skills to cope fighting one handed against a world ranked opponent, something he had done at the Japanese level against Yuki Sano. Sadly however the injury, a recurring injury, does leave us with serious questions about how long Inoue will be out of the ring, and how the hand will hold up in the future. Last time he injured it he was out for a year and to see him waste another year of his career on recovering would be a real shame. Given how he fought in the final round however it could be that the injury isn't as serious as it had been in the past.
Late on Saturday we saw yet another Filipino fighter feel the pain of fighting on the road and being up against more than just the opponent. Unlike last weekend, the fight didn't see the referee allow a fighter to break the rules at will, but the judging certainly left something of a foul taste.
The bout in question was a bout for the WBO “interim” Super Flyweight title and was ordered by the WBO, who set up the fight due to an injury to champion Naoya Inoue, who made the right decision to order an interim title fight. The fighters, Warlito Parrenas (24-6-1, 21) and David Carmona (19-2-5, 8), may not be the best in the division but they put on a good fight, albeit one that didn't get the right result.
From the opening round it seemed clear the fighters were very different men. In the ring Carmona was the “better boxer”, the sharp puncher and the more technically correct of the two men, Parrenas however showed little regard to the correct but “pitty patty” shots of the Mexican and instead the Filipino tried to make the fight into a battle and enforce his style on to the bout.
Early on it was Parrenas' style that was in charge of the action with the Filipino walking forward, stalking his man and and landing his trademark power shots. Those shots early saw him establishing the early lead, a lead that was extenuated by a knockdown he scored in the second round.
The first round that could have gone to the Mexican was round 3, though even that was close and won on the back foot, a round that could easily have gone to the Filipino who looked stronger and more determined than the Mexican fighter. It was clear, however, that round 4 belonged to the Mexican who had managed to cut the gap on the score cards with good boxing, moving and making Parrenas look a little bit slow and clumsy. It was exactly what Carmona had to do.
Carmona's continued to make Parrenas look second best in round 5 with the Filipino clearly missing numerous times and being tagged by clean, but light, shots from the home fighter. Parrenas did have his moments but it was clear that he was second best as Carmona managed to level off the scores and get rid of the 3 point hole he had found himself in.
In round 6 Parrenas managed to make early inroads, landing an uppercut early on that appeared to shake Carmona slightly and lead to more success for the Filipino slugger who seemed to stem the tide from the previous 3 rounds. Carmona however settled back to his boxing by the end of the round and seemed to accept that he was going to have to move, a lot, just to survive the bout with the powerful Pinoy. Parrenas started round 7 with the same intention he had shown in round 6 and went off fast after the Mexican who was beginning to run and hold more than fight. It still seemed like Carmona was the better “boxer” but he was unable to use many of his skills as Parrenas looked to bully him and intimidate him. Notably, for Carmona, he did manage to end round 7 well, but for the most part seemed to come off second best.
Carmona's success late in round 7 seemed to continue in round 8, though Parrenas did well to establish himself through the middle of the round. Carmona, to his credit, didn't seem to worry as Parrenas came at him and instead the Mexican got back to hitting on the move, making Parrenas chase him. It was one of the bouts closest rounds but a round that would likely go to the home fighter, especially considering a late, eye catching, flurry that he landed. Carmona failed to build on his late success and began to look like he was slowing and running out of ideas, Parrenas wasn't changing anything about what he was doing but it didn't seem like he needed to, as the Filipino was in the lead and seemingly walking down his Mexican foe.
Going into final few rounds it seemed clear that Carmona would have to pull something out of the bag. He tried in round 10, and landed most of the telling blows late on, though again it was a case of much of his work coming too late to really steal the round. The 11th was another that Parrenas seemed to win with a tiring Carmona offering little in terms of quality or quantity against the big punching Filipino, who lacked accuracy but certainly landed the better shots. Sadly for Parrenas he too was looking like he was running out of steam and he wasn't helped by the referee who seemed to end the round a few seconds early, just as Carmona seemed to wobble.
It seemed, in round 12, that Parrenas was wary of fighting on foreign soil and swung for the fences seeking a final round knockout. From a neutral point of view it seemed he had a comfortable lead but, as we all know, being the away fighter can sometimes make winning on the cards very difficult. Unfortunately for Parrenas he was unable to get the knockout that he was seeking, though he did land many of the rounds most notable shots in what seemed like another clear round for the Filipino slugger.
Unfortunately for Parrenas he couldn't do enough to convince the judge that he deserved the win, instead the decided on a split decision draw, a very hard to swallow result given the knockdown by Parrenas early in the bout.
Neither man will be happy at the result, that's a given. It is however a result that could easily lead to a rematch. It could also see either of them becoming the next option for Naoya Inoue, who was supposed to fight the winner in 90 days from this bout. The one thing it does, for both men, is keeps them in the hunt for another shot, with neither really falling down the pecking order.
The other thing it does, which maybe more interesting to some fans, is it seemingly leaves Inoue without a clear dance partner. Instead it seems that Inoue may be able to return sooner than originally thought, possibly in September, and may find himself with a voluntary defense given that his mandatory challenger isn't clear. He may face either of these two, or the WBO may allow him to face someone of his choosing, which could be a more interesting option for fans and the fighter.
The judges, as they often do, got this wrong and Parrenas certainly has every right to feel aggrieved, something that was on his face after the cards had been read. He may however be able to get another big fight considering his style and the excitement he brought to this bout. As for Carmona it's hard to see where he goes after this somewhat negative performance that saw him being lucky to be the home fighter.
World Title Results
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