By Rocky Morales
Photos: Sumio Yamada
The long awaited United States debut of WBO super flyweight world champion Naoya “The Monster” Inoue (14-0, 12 KOs) of Yokohama, Japan, didn’t disappoint as he tormented top contender Antonio “Carita” Nieves (17-2-2, 9 KOs) for six one-sided rounds.
Inoue controlled every second of the bout and punished the body of Nieves with ripping left hooks that would make Julio Cesar Chavez proud. Inoue dropped Nieves with one of those pulverizing left hooks to the body in the fifth round and, after rising, Nieves went on his bicycle for the remainder of the fight.
Nieves pretty much ran all of round six with Inoue getting increasingly frustrated and posturing to the crowd in an effort to get Nieves to engage. The corner of Nieves, between the sixth and seventh rounds, told the referee that Nieves had enough and the fight was then waved off.
Nieves, coming off a loss and just 1-1-1 over his last three bouts, had no business being in a world title fight yet less one against a top champion like Inoue and made for a curious selection of opponents for Inoue, who was eyeing a showdown with Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzales until tonight.
With the win, Inoue makes the sixth successful defense of his WBO super flyweight title.