Naoya Inoue smashes Michael Dasmarinas with body shots to record KO win in world bantamweight title defence

Vasiliy Lomachenko is live on Sky Sports in his comeback fight against Masayoshi Nakatani from Las Vegas next weekend

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Naoya Inoue knocked out Michael Dasmarinas in the third round

Naoya Inoue flattened Michael Dasmarinas three times in three rounds to demonstrate why he has a reputation as boxing’s biggest puncher on Saturday night in Las Vegas.

The Japanese fighter scored a trio of knock-downs from body shots, the third of which crumpled his rival in agony, to successfully defend his IBF and WBA bantamweight championships.

Inoue is among the world's elite pound-for-pound fighters and his clinical power punching display in Vegas showed why - he now has 18 KOs in 21 fights as a former light-flyweight, an unheard-of ratio of stoppages.

Naoya Inoue
Image: Inoue has 18 KOs from 21 wins
Naoya Inoue
Image: Inoue defended his IBF and WBA belts

'The Monster' was on the prowl from the opening bell and it took him until midway through the second round to crunch home a left hook to the ribs that sunk Dasmarinas to the floor.

Dasmarinas, nicknamed 'Hot and Spicy', rose again wincing, and Inoue still had time in the round to sting him again.

Inoue whipped Dasmarinas with the exact same body shot in the third round and sunk him to the canvas again.

All hope looked lost for the Filippino challenger, who had trained at the Wild Card gym made famous by Manny Pacquiao, but he bravely got up again.

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But Inoue hammered him with a third left hook to the ribs and, when he sagged to the floor, the referee saved him from further punishment.

Naoya Inoue
Image: 'The Monster' is boxing's hardest puncher
Naoya Inoue
Image: Inoue will look towards an undisputed title fight

Three-weight champion Inoue could now look ahead to an undisputed title fight.

Nonito Donaire, who gave Inoue his toughest test so far in a 2019 thriller, recently won the WBA title at the age of 38 and is next set to face dangerous Filippino John Riel Casimero who owns the WBO belt.

Inoue said: "I prepare myself to knock them out, whether with a head shot or a body shot. I came prepared and to get a win by knockout is good for me.

"The first round, I just wanted to see what he had. It depended on how he came out, and after a little while, I thought I could get him out.

"Getting the win makes me smile, but to be able to fight the winner of Casimero and Donaire, that brings me another smile."

Top Rank chairman Bob Arum said: "Naoya Inoue is a unique force of nature inside that ring. Another incredible performance from 'The Monster'. We are seeing a great fighter at work here, and he is only going to get better."

Vasiliy Lomachenko is live on Sky Sports in his comeback fight against Masayoshi Nakatani from Las Vegas next weekend.

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