Fight Reports

[Video] A Monstrous Start: Naoya Inoue Begins WBSS with 1st Round KO of Juan Carlos Payano

Another first round KO for the Monster.


Naoya Inoue needed 70 seconds to show the world why he’s the favorite to win the World Boxing Super Series. The WBA super bantamweight champion delivered one right hand that wiped out Juan Carlos Payano and sent a chilling message to remaining tournament fighters.

Payano, the bigger man as a career bantamweight and former WBA title-holder, was thought to be a formidable foe. He was light on his feet while Inoue slowly stalked and probed distance with his lead left.

The tactical dance was broken once Inoue whipped his left jab upward through Payano’s guard. The shot simultaneously stunned and blinded Payano, leaving him unaware of the straight right coming behind it. The right landed flush and stiffened Payano’s entire body as he crashed rod-straight to the canvas.

Inoue, who’s already had a first KO against Jamie McDonnell earlier this year, knew the result before the ref’s count concluded and immediately celebrated in the opposite corner.

The devastating knockout is Inoue’s seventh consecutive stoppage dating back to 2016. His record improves to 17-0 (15 KOs). He moves to the semifinals and will face the winner of Emmanuel Rodriguez and Jason Moloney taking place on October 20 in Orlando.


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