Undefeated Japanese Naoya Inoue defended his World Boxing Association (WBA) and International Boxing Federation (IBF) unified world bantamweight titles in his Las Vegas debut this Saturday by knocking out challenger Jason Moloney.
The Japanese superstar dropped Moloney at the end of the seventh round to retain both titles in spectacular fashion at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.
Inoue, 27, landed a brutal straight right hand that bent the Australian challenger’s knees to stop the 118-pound fight with just one second left in the round.
“The final blow, I am very happy and satisfied with that blow,” Inoue said. “Moloney has a great defense, it was difficult to get to him.”
Inoue scored two knockdowns on Saturday and improved to an undefeated record of 20-0 with 17 knockouts, while Moloney fell to 21-2 with 18 KOs.
Inoue dominated the entire fight, which took place inside the quarantine bubble at the luxury casino in Las Vegas.
The devastating power of Inoue’s punch showed why he is known in boxing circles as the ‘Monster’.
Inoue dropped Moloney in the sixth round by countering a blow with a left hook. He finished a round later with a short forehand.
Moloney tried to get to his feet, but referee Kenny Bayless counted it at 2:59 of the round.
Inoue unified the IBF and WBA crowns last November by winning the World Boxing Super Series final over Filipino star Nonito Donaire via unanimous decision after dispatching four previous rivals in less than three rounds.
Inoue was supposed to have faced John Riel Casimero in April, but the fight was called off by the coronavirus pandemic.
Moloney, 29, stopped Mexican Leonardo Báez after seven rounds in June, but was outscored by Inoue’s speed and power. AFP (HN)