WBSS: Naoya Inoue knocks out Juan Carlos Payano in opening round
Kiryl Relikh also moves into super-lightweight semi-finals with win over Eduard Troyanovsky
Last Updated: 07/10/18 3:36pm
Naoya Inoue lived up to his nickname with a devastating knockout of Juan Carlos Payano in the opening round of the World Boxing Super Series bantamweight quarter-final.
'The Monster' took just over a minute to flatten his opponent, a straight left followed by a vicious right hook putting him flat on his back, in front of an expectant crowd at the Yokohama Arena, Yokohama, Japan.
Inoue is the No 2 seed and was defending the WBA bantamweight world title he took away from Britain's Jamie McDonnell in equally impressive style in May.
His first defence was expected to be a true test with Payano a former world champion who had only suffered a solitary loss, at the hands of the precocious Rau'shee Warren, in 2016.
Inoue is already a three-weight world champion in just 17 fights and need a couple of range-finding shots before setting up another sensational finish, his 15th knockout win.
'The Monster' is now waiting to see who he faces in the WBSS semi-final, knowing it will be a unification fight against either IBF bantamweight champion Emmanuel Rodriguez, who goes up against Jason Moloney, in Orlando, on October 20.
British stars Ryan Burnett is the other WBA title holder and faces fans' favourite Nonito Donaire in Glasgow in November, alongside Scottish super-lightweight sensation Josh Taylor.
The other Season Two quarter-final saw WBA super-lightweight Kiryl Relikh retain his title and progress to the semi-finals with a unanimous points win over Eduard Troyanovsky, all three judges scoring it 115-113.