TOKYO, JAPAN — There is a new king at super flyweight and his name is Naoya Inoue. With just seven pro fights under his belt coming into this title matchup, Inoue overwhelmed WBO champion Omar Narvaez with speed and crushing power to force the 14-year veteran to capitulate on his knees in round two.
In round one, Inoue needed less than a minute to put Narvaez on the canvas with a succession of right hands. Narvarez rose and tried to gain respect by leading with southpaw right hooks. He soon found himself floored again, this time via Inoue’s quick counter left hooks.
Inoue’s nimble footwork, coupled with the accuracy and speed of his long-range offense, forced Narvaez into more risk-taking in the second. The aged champ was caught lunging in with another counter left for a third trip to the canvas. Narvaez got up clear-headed, but a digging left hook to the body broke his fighting spirit and put him down for a fourth and final time.
The victory gives Inoue the WBO super flyweight crown and improves his record to 8-0 (7 KOs). Narvaez’s (43-2-2, 23 KOs) three-year title reign comes to end with 11 successful defenses.
There’s already a significant number of observers who have taken to social media to proclaim Inoue as the 2014 Fighter of Year. Those sentiments are not hyperbole. Narvaez has never been stopped and had been the dominant force in his weight for several years. He’s so much of a defensive master that when he moved up to challenge Nonito Donaire at bantamweight in 2011, the Filipino Flash struggled mightily to land clean let alone hurt Narvaez despite holding a significant reach and weight advantage.
This wasn’t a case of an aged champion getting outworked by a less talented, but younger and fresher fighter. This massacre was the result of a young fighter outmatching a formiable veteran in every facet of pugilism.
We just might be witnessing the start of a great run.