Earlier this year we saw the IBF Super Flyweight title change hands, as Argentinian fighter champion Fernando Daniel Martinez (15-0, 8) was crowned the champion on the back of a career defining win over Filipino Jerwin Ancajas (33-3-2, 22), ending Ancajas' long reign. The performance from Martinez was a star making one, as he put on a hyper aggressive performance that saw him combine high work rate, intelligent offense and a scary desire to win.
Today the two men went again, in an immediate rematch that had a lot to live up to. The bout didn't manage to replicate their first bout, which was as exciting a 1-sided fight as you could get. Instead of a 1-sided Fight of the Year we got something that seemed just as one sided, but lacked the intensity of the first bout, as the champion not only retained his title, but also showed a new found maturity from the first fight. Instead of fighting hell for leather, Martinez was instead picking his moments, fighting more conservatively, and showing himself to be a smarter, more intelligent fighter than the swarming offense obsessed fighter he was in the first bout.
In the early going Ancajas looked like he was there to reclaim his title. The first two rounds were good ones for him as he used a lot of lateral movement, made Martinez chase him, and created space with not just his movement but also his clean and crisp counter punching and his busy jab. Sadly for Ancajas the movement he used early on, whilst it did win him rounds, did use up a lot of energy and by round 3 he was starting to struggle creating space as Martinez's pressure built, and built and his body shots took a toll on the Filipino. From there on the fight began to look more and more one sided, with Ancajas' movement vanishing in the middle rounds.
Martinez, who barely landed body shots in their first fight, had taken Ancajas' legs away within 4 or 5 rounds here with shots to the mid-section. They continued to land through the fight, but the main success from the body shots was that Ancajas was stationary in the second half of the fight, which lead him to taking a lot of big head shots, especially in round 6.
As the rounds ticked by Martinez continued to land the bigger, more hurtful shots, and racked up round after round, after round, but also showed a real boxing brain, taking a lot fewer risks than he did in the first fight, and picking his attacks well. He showed good footwork, good restraint and it was very much a performance that showed a different side to him than his first bout with Ancajas. It did however also end up with the same outcome, a wide and clear decision for Martinez, with the judges scoring the bout 119-119 and 118-110, twice, to give Martinez the clear and wide decision victory.
Just moments ago we saw the end of the trilogy between Saul Alvarez (58-2-2, 39) and Gennadiy Golovkin (42-2-1, 37), and it was a bout that lacked the drama and flow of the first two legendary bouts between the men. Instead of being an incredible back and forth between elite level fighters in, or at least near their primes, this was very much a case of a fighter in their pomp facing a fighter who was clearly faded and nothing like the fighter he had once been. Sadly the faded man was the now 40 year old Golovkin, who looked every bit the 40 year old from the off.
The bout began with rounds 25 and 26 of their rivalry, which were somewhat competitive. Canelo looked the quicker, sharper, cleaner fighter in the two rounds, but Golovkin had moments in those rounds as the bout eased it's way into action. Sadly from round 2 the handspeed, youth, explosiveness and energy of Canelo shone through as he controlled a large swathe of the bout. He shut down Golovkin's offense, hammered him with clean head shots, and short sharp combinations and left Golovkin marked up and looking like a beaten fighter after just 5 rounds. It seemed very much like Canelo was heading towards a stoppage of Golovkin in the middle rounds, and that Golovkin's incredible toughness was going to be the only thing keeping him in the fight.
Just as it seemed like Jonathan Banks in Golovkin's corner should consider throwing in the towel Canelo seemed to ease off. He began to lose some of the intensity of earlier in the bout, and almost out of respect dropped his work rate rather than look to punish his man. This allowed Golovkin some respite, and in round 9 Golovkin finally began to show glimpses of the fighter he once was. It wasn't prime Golovkin, but it was a great last stand by a man digging deep and letting his hands go, backing up Canelo for the first time in the fight. Golovkin continued to have success in rounds 10 and 11, though 11 did see Canelo fighting like a man who was happy to conserve some energy late rather than take too many risks when well ahead.
The final round saw Canelo put his foot on the gas a little, and show that he was fighting within himself the previous few rounds, and had more to offer had he needed to. After the final bell it seemed like Canelo had comfortably won. It was hard to give Golovkin more than 3 rounds. Some how however all 3 judges had the bout close, with scores of 116-112 and 115-113, twice, giving the reflection of a very hotly contested bout. Something it really wasn't.
After the bout it was revealed Canelo had damaged his left hand, likely a result of landing numerous left hooks early on, which could have explained why his work rate dropped. It was also clear that this was the end of the rivalry, with the two men showing real respect to each other and seemed to have put to bed any animosity. Notably Golovkin didn;t announce that his career was over, though we wouldn't be surprised to see him either hanging them up, or fighting a single bout before retiring in the new year. As for Canelo, who retained his WBA, WBC, WBO and IBF Super Middleweight titles, it seems a rematch with Dmitriy Bivol is in his sights for 2023.
Late on Saturday night we saw a new IBF Minimumweight champion being crowned in Mexico as local fighter Daniel Valladares (26-3-1, 15) over-came Filipino fighter Mark Rene Cuarto (20-3-2, 11), and dethroned the Filipno who was looking to make his second defense of the title, in a fight that was something of a hard to watch, sloppy affair with an awful lot of incidental head clashes and wrestling.
Early on Valladares tried to box, using good footwork, defensive skills and technical boxing to land clean at range and control the tempo. The action picked up in round 2 after Cuarto had seen what he challenger had, and in round 3 Cuarto some of his best shots, as he found a home for right hands that bothered the challenger. They were good rounds from the champion, but he didn't really look as skilled or as heavy handed as ghe challenger.
From there the bout descended into a bit of a downward spiral with head clashes marring round 4, which saw Valladares get the worst of them. Head clashes continued to play a role through the middle portion of the bout, as Cuarto had some really good moments whilst Valladares was left bloodied, damaged, cut and forced to pass a doctors inspection in round 7. The action could, genuine, have been stopped not due to the severity of the cuts, but due to the fact it was clear more head clashes would be happening, and they did.
Despite being cut Valladares showed a lot of grit in round 8, though did seem to touch down and perhaps should have had a knockdown scored against him, before having another doctor's inspection at the start of the following round.
The cuts were playing an issue for Valladares, who seemed to be more hurt and annoyed by them than anything Cuarto actually threw in the later rounds, with Cuarto further angering people in round 10 when his tape repeatedly came undone forcing the referee to deduct a point, something he could have done for the head clashes.
Having worked hard through much of the middle portion of the bout, and been fighting through cuts, Valladares slowed down in round 11 with the bout becoming a messy clinch fest for the final final 2 rounds. Which made an already ugly and frustrating bout even more ugly and frustrating. By the end of the bout both men looked tired, both swollen and busted, and although it had been messy there were exciting moments.
As we went to the scorecards it seemed hard to have this as anything but a clear win for Valladares, despite the cuts, and the punishment he took from the head of Cuarto. Surprisingly however this was closer on the cards than expected with scores of 115-112 and 116-111 for Valladares and a bizarre 114-113 to Cuarto, to give Valladares the win, and see him become the new IBF Minimumweight champion.
Following the it bout, it was reported that Cuarto's manager Sean Gibbons would be seeking a rematch due to the point deduction and the botched knockdown call.
Just moments ago in San Antonio we saw WBA "Super" an IBF Super Bantamweight champion Murodjon Akhmadaliev (11-0, 8) [Ахмадалиев, Муроджон Кахарович] retain his titles, and record his third defense, as he defeated American challenger Ronny Rios (33-4, 16) with a 12th round TKO.
The bout started slowly, with both men getting behind their jabs with both lookign to see what the other hand, and ease their own way into the bout. Through the opening stanza there was little to pick them apart, with Akhmadaliev looking the crisper, sharper, faster fighter, but outside of a single left hand he didn't land too much of note. What was interesting through the round was Rios using a lot of feints, that kept Akhmadaliev on his toes.
Rounds 2 and 3 saw the tempo slowly improve as the fight gradually warmed up with Rios cranking up the pressure round by round.
The first real talking point came in round 4, when an uppercut to the body of Rios left him in agony, that had to tough out. He looked really hurt, but somehow stayed on his feet, as Akhmadaliev tried to close the show but failed. The body shot showed that Akhmadaliev had the power to hurt the challenger, but he failed to repeat the feat as Rios showed his toughness and pressed more. That pressure did see him have success, but he was taking more than he was giving as Akhmadaliev proved to be an accurate puncher, especially with his jab, which helped neutralise the pressure of the challenger.
In round 6, whilst controlling the bout, Akhmadaliev suffered an injury to his left hand, which was a shame, as it left him a one-handed fighter. Despite that the skills of Akhmadaliev shined through as he continued to use his jab and movement well, and out boxed Rios, who kept pressing but having limited success. In round 8 it seemed that Rios was becoming aware that the champion was 100% and pressed a lot more, however that left him in range for Akhmadlaiev's right hook which began to land at will, and took a toll on Rios who was forced to back off late in the round.
Rios managed to see out round 8, despite being hurt late in the round, but continued to take punishment from the right hand of Akhamadliev through round 9. In round 10 Rios pressed more intensely, and it was one of his better rounds, but he continued to struggle to consistent leather as Akhmadaliev's footwork and educated right hand limited the challenger's success overall.
Rios had some of his best moments in round 10, but he failed to build on that in round 11 as Akhmadaliev consistently landed his right hand through the 11th round and even had Rios backing up at times.
With Akhmadaliev clearly up, and fighting injured, it seemed like the bout would be going the distance as we headed into the final round. Akhmadaliev however fought like a man with other intentions and came out in round 12 looking for a finish. He dropped Rios with just over a minute left, Rios beat the count but was under immediate pressure when the fight resumed with Akhmadaliev finishing off Rios as the referee stepped in to save the challenger.
Sadly the hand injury will likely keep Akhmadaliev out of the ring for a while, and after that he is likely going to be forced to face mandatory challenger Marlon Tapales before talks of a divisional super fight with Stephen Fulton can be realised. Sadly that makes it seem likely we won't get that massive undisputed title bout until 2023. As for Rios he showed his toughness, but in the end he was very much second best through out the bout.
History is an interesting thing to study, and today we got the latest chapter in a 22 fight saga of Japanese fighters fighting in world title bouts in Europe. A saga that now sees the record standing at 1-21, with the latest loss coming just moments ago, when Joe Cordina (15-0, 9) dethroned Japan's Kenichi Ogawa (26-2-1-1, 18) [尾川 堅一] of the IBF Super Featherweight title, in just 2 rounds.
The bout started interestingly and evenly, with both men finding some success with their jabs, and Ogawa perhaps edging it with some good short right hands and the odd right hook. It was, however, a razor thin and close opening round.
Sadly for Ogawa his success in the opening round wasn't to be replicated in round 2. Instead it was the speed of Cordina that showed as he landed a brutal right hand that sent Ogawa down for the second time in his career, with the first coming just 2 fights ago against Kazuhiro Nishitani. Unlike the Nishitani fight however, he wasn't getting up from this one. Instead he was staying down for the count, despite trying to battle to his feet.
Aged 34 it's almost impossible to now imagine Ogawa getting back to this level, and instead we suspect he might return to Japan for a one off bout before hanging them up. As for Cordina, there appear to be a logical next bout for him against fellow British fighter Zelfa Barrett, who won on the under-card of this bout.
Although Japanese fighters have been willing to travel more often in recent years, it seems hard to think who will give them their second win in Europe, with the only Japanese man so far to have success in Europe at the top level being Naoya Inoue.
Just moments ago we had a brutal treat from the Super Arena in Saitama as Gennady Golovkin (42-1-1, 37) [Геннадий Геннадьевич Головкин] unified the IBF Middleweight and WBA "Super" Middleweight titles, as he stopped Japanese tough guy Ryota Murata (16-3, 13) [村田 諒太] in a brilliant, brutal and hard hitting bout.
The first was nip and tuck as both men looked to get their distance punches into play, with both landing crisp and clean jabs. The round saw a lot of Murata pressing and pressuring behind his tight guard, and Golovkin showing off quicker handspeed and better footwork.
Muratra found his groove in round 2 and his pressure began to have real succes as he walked down the distance and get intosde to land left hooks to the body and some huge right hands up top, whilst walking though a lot of good work by Golovkin. Whilst Murata was having sustained success through the rounds, Golovkin was much more reserved and tended to throw eye catching combinations, rather than sustaining any work. It seemed clear that Golovkin, at the age of 40, knew he had to fight smartly, and not set a high tempo from the off.
By round 4 the bout was incredibly close, but that's where things began to change as Golovkin took over in round 5, setting a high work rate, and taking the fight to Murata more regularly. It was here that Murata began to slowly be worked down, chipped away at and forced to take more and more heavy shots. Golovkin's work rate, accuracy and power really began to tell in rounds 6 and 7, and although he was putting a lot in to the rounds, he was handing out a lot of punishment. Murata had moments in those rounds, but really struggled with consistency, and it seemed clear he was struggling to get Golovkin's respect. Whilst Golovkin clearly had his!
In round 8 it was clear Golovkin wanted to make a statemend and let his shots go regularly on Murata, who was forced to cover up, back up and head on to the ropes several times. It was now a real test not just of Murata's will to win, but his toughness and his chin. Some how he was holding up to the huge shots Golovkin was landing, but round by round they became ever more consistent, whilst his return fire became more and more limited. It was clear Golovkin was on his way to victory, but the real question was "How is Murata staying up?" as Golovkin began to land his much vaunted power shots almost at will.
In round 9, finally, Golovkin's powetr had the break through as he sagged Murata's legs early in the round and later on landed a brutal left hook, that rould have beheaded mere mortals. The shot turned damn near turned Murata around, before he sank to the canvas. Murata's team knew their man was done and threw in the towel whilst Murata must have wondered what had hit him.
Whilst this was a brilliant effort from Murata, who showed his toughness and grit, he really did come unstuck after round 4. And the punishment he took here, at the age of 36 probably spells the end of him as a top fighter. Maybe sending him into retirement, and more TV work, something that he's done quite a bit of and he has proven to be an excellent analyst.
As for Golovkin, he may have won the fight, but it's really hard to know what's next for him. He won, but he took punishment, and aged 40 this may well have been a last hurrah for a true legend of the sport. He clearly wants a third bout with Saul "Canelo" Alvarez, but in reality we don't see that ending well for him, and it may well be time he sets off into the sunset on what was a great win, in a fantastic bout.
Just moments ago we saw IBF Flyweight champion Sunny Edwards (18-0, 4) make his second defenses as he over-came Pakistani fighter Muhammad Waseem (12-2, 8) in a rough, messy, dirty fight in Dubai.
The opening round was a quiet feeling out round, which Edwards did enough to take, though neither man really did a lot of anything. There was a long period of both guys looking to see what the other hand to offer, but neither really stood out as such, with Edwards edging it on the quality of what little work he did do. In rounds 2, thankfully, the action did pick up with both men picking up the pace. This saw Waseem's pressure intensifying whilst Edwards looked to box, move and counter, though again it was somewhat quiet and felt like the bout was going to struggle to come alive.
Thankfully in round 3 the action did pick up as Waseem began to get in to range and back Edwards on to the ropes, where he let shots go in an attempt to break down the champion. Despite being against the ropes Edwards showed silky skills, timing and counter punching as he landed just as much as he was taking as the bout began to come alive. The following few rounds, through the middle of the bout, saw the bout keep the same pattern, with Waseem backing up Edwards, and Edwards boxing on the back foot, landing some amazing counters, but taking body shots on the ropes.
Sadly though, for both, the action was marred by a lot of wrestling, accidental headclashes, holding, and general rough house tactics from both. It was the style of fight that suited Waseem, who didn't have the speed or skills to keep up with Edwards, but it was messy and the referee did little to really tidy things up. In fact the referee seemed to be making things worse, with warnings for minor infractions, and man handling Waseen a number of times whilst working in the clinch.
The referee continued to make a mess of things in rounds 6, when he deducted Waseem a point for holding, something both men were doing repeatedly though the fight, and then doubled his frustration with a second point deduction a round later. By then it seemed the referee wasn't exactly acting an impartial authority on the bout, and certainly seemed harsher on Waseem than Edwards, when both were just as dirty as each other.
Sadly for Waseem the deductions seemed to kill some off some of his fighting spirit, and although he was solid in round 8 he did very, very little afterwards as Edwards began to box, move, using his feet and showing what he can do. Edwards began to make things look easy and started to make Waseem look incredibly slow, clumsy and old as he began to run away with the bout, which had been close through much of bout thanks to Waseem's pressure.
Given how Edwards fought rounds 9, 10 and 11, it was clear the win was his and he seemed to know it as he got on his bike through round 12, essentially doing victory laps as Waseem ineffectively chased him around the ring for the better part of 3 minutes.
After 12 rounds there was no denying Edwards was the rightful winner. His eye catching counter shots made even the good rounds for Waseem close, whilst the early rounds, where he edged them, and the later rounds, where he made things look easy, were undeniable rounds for the champion. And then with the deductions any debate on the winner was moot. Despite that Waseem climbed the turn buckle to celebrate, and we suspect he may have been the only man in the venue, which to be fair was mostly empty, to think he'd won.
The judges had it closer than most, with scores of 115-111, twice, and 116-110. We felt they were closer than they should have been, but can certainly see why the judges had it that close given that many of the middle rounds were hotly contested, and Waseem's pressure in them was certainly successful.
Sadly the real disappointment was the referee, who seemed poor through out, and could have easily taken points from both. It was a dirty fight, but not one where a man had to effectively fight on a tightrope, as Waseem did.
Over the last few years no division in boxing has given us consistently amazing fights like the Super Flyweight division, and just moments ago we had another sensational bout at 115lbs, as Filipino fighter Jerwin Ancajas (33-2-2, 22) lost the IBF Super Flyweight title to Fernando Martinez (14-0, 8) in a early contender for FOTY.
From the off Martinez came out like a bull, he pressed the action from the opening bell, forcing Ancajas to fight his fight, and to engage in the wrong fight. It was something we had seen Ancajas get dragged into the past, but rarely against a man as determined looking as Martinez who seemed to walk through everything Ancajas threw back in the early going. In fact not only was Martinez walking throw what came back at him, but he was also outlanding Ancajas in terms of quantity and quality of shots.
Through the first 3 rounds it it was clear Ancajas was having moments in every one of them, but he seemed to consistently be struggling to establish himself, and every time he did it seemed to be short lived. There was however some positivity late in round 3 when he seemed to rock Martinez, for a moment. It was a little moment, but one that was too late in the round for him to build on as the bell came moments later.
Ancajas also had a minor break through in round 4, when a headclash left Martinez with a cut over the left eye that seemed to bother him during the round. Unfortunately for Ancajas however, it was little more than a temporary problem for Martinez, who seemed to completely forget about the cut in round 5, a round that saw him become incredibly dominant, and begin to take a genuine iron grip on the bout. He was dictating the range, the tempo, the style and the overall action. He was bossing the fight, and Ancajas was doing little more than trying to control him, fighting back to try and get Martinez's respect and create some breathing space. Sadly though Martinez wasn't giving him it, and was instead landing huge shots time and time and time again.
Unfortunately for Ancajas he was starting to get hurt, he was wobbled in round 6, and took incredibly punishment in rounds 7, 8 and 9 as a stoppage began to look inevitable for the Argentinian. The only question mark was whether Martinez could keep up the pace, as he was throwing an insane amount of shots. It seemed that something would have to give, either Martinez's gas tank, or Ancajas' heart and chin. Amazingly however neither of those things gave up. Neither man was willing to break.
Notably as we got into final rounds Martinez made it clear he didn't was a decision, he wanted to keep the judges out of the bout, and went all out, and was caught by some huge counters late on, in fact he was wobbled in round 10, but instantly recovered and took the fight to Ancajas immediately.
Somehow Ancajas dug deeper than anyone could have expected, and fought wonderfully in the final round, refusing to just give up his title, but still had nothing to stop Martinez's aggression. In fact it seemed like nothing would stop Martinez to night, and despite failing to stop the Filipino, the judges had no option but to give him the bout, with scores of 117-111 and 118-110, twice.
After the bout talk turned to a rematch, but in all honesty we don't see that going much differently to this one, and we don't think it would be smart from Ancajas' and his team. Personally, and this is purely our hope, is that Ancajas gets the chance to fulfil the previously scheduled bout with Kazuto Ioka, for Ioka's WBO title, whilst Martinez gets to share the ring with one of the other top fighters in the division. A bout between Martinez and Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, Joshua Franco, Andrew Moloney, Francisco Rodriguez Jr or Jonathan Javier Rodriguez Valles would all be incredible bouts. With maybe the winners facing off at the end of the year!
Earlier today in Digos City fight fans had the chance to see IBF Minimumweight champion Rene Mark Cuarto (20-2-2, 11) make his first defense of his title as he defeated the man he beat for the title last year, Pedro Taduran (14-4-1, 11). This bout, much like their first bout, was a controversial one, and one with a lot to talk about. In fact this one was much more controversial than their first, which was marred by Cuarto holding to survive for much of the later rounds.
The fight started with Taduran looking to be the aggressor, but it wasn't long until Cuarto found his range and used the ring well to counter Taduran's aggression and press . It was as if the fight had started in round 12 of their rivalry, and neither seemed to feel too much of a need to ease their way into the bout. This made a fun start to the action, but also one that had more than it's share of holding, and wrestling as the stances, as Cuarto tried to thwart Taduran up close.
In round 2 we had the first moment of drama, as Taduran touched down following a scrappy series of shots from Cuarto, ended with a left hand that sent Taduran off balance. The knockdown wasn't a painful one for Taduran but did secure Cuarto a 10-8 round.
We had more drama the following round when Cuarto was punished for an intentional headbutt, losing 2 points for the infraction. The headbutt wasn't the first time Cuarto's head had been involved in the fight, but was a pretty blatant one which left the referee with little option but to remove points from the champion and give him a very stern warning before looking through Tarudan's hair for a cut. Although it didn't appear there was much, if any blood, this wouldn't be the only time heads would collide in the bout.
The flash point in round 3 seemed to serve as a wake up to both men to sort stuff out and the fight clean up afterwards, with Taduran again becoming the aggressor and Cuarto the boxer. The aggression of power of Taduran certainly caught the eye, though so did the boxing, moving and counter punching skills of Cuarto who moved well and picked his spots very well, despite being under intense pressure late in the round. Round 5 was much like round 4, with Taduran applying pressure, and the bout being a very hard one to call as both were incredibly competitive in some great back and forth.
As we looked to be heading towards a really good fight we then ended up with more drama in round 6 as we got the second knockdown, which was an odd one as Taduran seemed to get pushed down and have a count put against him. The drama for the round however wasn't over and a headclash, just moments later, lead to Taduran being cut on the hair line. This time blood was pouring from his head and the doctor was forced to have an inspection. Taduran passed the inspection but by the end of the round his face was a crimson mask. The two men began round 7 but it wasn't long until the cut was a mess again, and this time the doctor said enough was enough, and halted the bout.
The stoppage from the doctor lead to the bout being stopped and us going to the scorecards early in round 7. The cards were, understandably, odd looking but close, with scores of 65-64 to Cuarto, 65-65 even and 66-64 to Cuarto who retained his title with a majority technical decision.
If we're being honest we feel that Cuarto is a very lucky boy here. Both knockdown calls were some what questionable and the repeated headclashes could have seen him DQ'd, especially after the early deductions. If Ginjiro Shigeoka and his team are sniffing around for a world title it wouldn't be a huge shock to see them target Cuarto after this bout.
After more than 2 years of waiting Japanese fans had the chance to welcome local megastar Naoya Inoue (22-0, 19) [井上 尚弥] back to a Japanese ring earlier today, in what was his first bout at home since beating Nonito Donaire in the WBSS Bantamweight final, in November 2019. Not only did they say the Monster in action however, but they also got a bit of a show, as Inoue retained his WBA "Super" and IBF Bantamweight world titles and stopped the gutsy, but outclassed, Thai challenger Aran Dipaen (12-3, 11) [แก่นนคร ศักดิ์กรีรินทร์] at the Kokugikan in Tokyo.
The bout, regarded as a massive mismatch going in, served as a home coming for Inoue, and also served as the final world title bout to be held in Japan this year, with Dipaen getting in to the country before Japan close it's borders at the end of November. And in many ways it served it's task, with Dipaen serving as the perfect dance partner.
From the off Inoue was in control. He was too sharp, too fast, too accurate, too crisp and far, far too good. However Dipaen, unlike many Inoue foes, wasn't fearful of the champion and was instead there to change his life, to fight for the upset, and to try and score what would have been one of the biggest shocks of the year. Sadly for Dipaen his desire didn't match his ability, and he struggled, time and time again, to land anything clean, or to avoid the excellent left jab of Inoue's which landed thunderously, like a straight right hand.
Dipaen was out classed, coming off second best every minute of every round. He was however not there to make up the numbers and go away quietly. Instead he played the class clown, the joker, the entertainer, and goaded Inoue numerous times. Raising his hands and telling to bring it, whilst looking to get in his own hard shots. He was game, he was tough, and that was really all he had going for him. And unfortunately, toughness alone will never be enough against someone like Inoue, who began to target the body extensively, and really began hunting his man in round 6. Dipaen's toughness was keeping him upright, but Inoue was beginning to break him mentally and physically.
In round 8 the inevitable happened, as Dipaen was finally dropped and although he got back to his feet, he was done as Inoue went in for the finish and forced the referee to stop the action.
Following the bout Inoue and promoter Hideyuki Ohashi held a press conference. There they again mentioned that they were hoping to face either John Riel Casimero or Nonito Donaire in a 3 title unification bout. It seems however if those bouts can't be made he'll speed up the move to Super Bantamweight, rather than wasting time chasing bouts that won't happen. Inoue saying "I've been sticking to the Bantamweight class with an emphasis on unifying the four classes, but if it doesn't go smoothly, I'm thinking of the super bantamweight class." Thankfully the Super Bantamweight division is one of the best in the sport right now, even if it is a division lacking an A* star name, but Inoue moving there would add that huge name, to a division that has been over-delivering over the last few years.
World Title Results
Whether you like them or not World Titles add prestige to any bout as a result we've included the results of world title bouts in this special section.