Naoya Inoue stops Emmanuel Rodriguez to set up Nonito Donaire showdown
Last Updated: 18/05/19 10:47pm
Naoya Inoue needed just two rounds to get to blast his way past Emmanuel Rodriguez in the World Boxing Super Series [WBSS] bantamweight semi-final.
The unbeaten Japanese fighter added the IBF title to his WBA strap after sending Rodriguez to the canvas three times in the second round of their contest at Glasgow's SSE Hydro.
Inoue's victory sets up a showdown with the 'Filipino Flash' Nonito Donaire in the WBSS final.
The 26-year-old looked sharp from the outset connecting with a number of clean shots in the first round against the previously unbeaten Puerto Rican.
He wasted no time in dispatching his opponent - with a left hook inside the first 30 seconds of round two flooring his opponent for the first time in the bout.
Rodriguez was visibly shaken by the knockdown and had blood streaming from his nose as he tried to continue. But within seconds of getting to his feet a crunching body shot put him down for the second time.
The Puerto Rican gazed towards his corner, shaking his head as he got up to try and see the round out. But a flurry of punches saw Rodriguez put down for a third time in the fight, and despite making the count, referee Michael Alexander brought the contest to a halt.
"I came out looking to be aggressive, and I kept that going and I did well tonight," Inoue said after extending his perfect record to 18 wins, with 16 victories coming by way of knockout.
"He won the first round and I didn't know how it was going to turn out after that.
"I felt very much at home; everyone here made me feel at home. Donaire has had a great career and is a great fighter. I respect him and I look forward to fighting him."
Donaire, who was at ringside for the fight, added: "He was incredible, he did what he had to do.
"This is what we've been waiting for. We've always felt we were going to meet each other, it's destiny. This is what boxing is about, the best fighting the best. He's the monster and that's something to figure out."