By Joe Koizumi
Photos by Naoki Fukuda
Unbeaten Naoya “Monster” Inoue (15-0, 13 KOs), 115, very impressively retained his WBO junior bantam belt as he quickly decked #6 Frenchman Yoan Boyeaux (41-5-1NC, 26 KOs), 113.75, in the first round and dropped him three more times exclusively with body bombardments to score a well-received TKO victory at 1:40 of the third round on Saturday in Yokohama, Japan. Boyeaux gamely raised himself whenever he badly hit the deck, but he finally sunk with Monster’s disastrous body shots in the fatal session. Inoue registered his seventh defense, which looked as fantastic and formidable as his title-winning demolition of Omar Narvaez on the same day three years ago.
The unbruised victor said, “As I outgrow the 115-pound class, I may see a different world where I may see more competitive rivals. In this class I wanted to accomplish more achievements such as a title unification. I cannot be happiest now as my happiest moment will be still far from here.” The bruised loser, 29, around the eyes said, “Inoue was a harder puncher I expected. I admit his strength.”
Inoue, 24, had been once scheduled to appear in “Superfly 2” show on February 24 under the condition that he will face IBF counterpart Jerwin Ancajas for unification, but Ancajas declined to square off against Monster although Inoue accepted to meet him even with a rather short interval for less than two months after this Boyeaux defense. The US promoter reportedly made an offer for Inoue to fight another bout with another opponent, but Inoue turned it down since the quality of the opposition couldn’t motivate him.
It was the seventh defense after Monster registered a well-received defense in halting Antonio Nieves in six lopsided rounds this September. In the closing seconds of the opening session Inoue unleashed a looping left hook that sent him sprawling to the canvas with Boyeaux saved by the bell after a resumption of the contest.
The second round witnessed Naoya stalking Yoan with fast and accurate jabs to the face or to the midsection all the way, which had the crowd of 4,000 convinced with an early stoppage to come as expected.
Inoue, in round three, caught the taller Frenchman with a vicious left hook to the side of the belly. Boyeaux temporarily stepped away and then knelt down with pain. Naoya went for a kill. He connected with another solid body shot and Yoan took a knee. Though the referee allowed him to go on, it was Inoue that beautifully connected with a three-punch combination to the breadbasket. Down he went. The third time in this fatal round. The referee Raul Caiz Jr. didn’t hesitate to call a halt. Enough was enough.
Naoya Inoue will leave for the country of bantam after this victory. Bon vayage!