Naoya Inoue successfully defended his WBA (Super) and IBF Bantamweight world titles with a one-sided seventh round knockout win against the overmatched Jason Moloney inside the Top Rank bubble in Las Vegas on Saturday.
‘Monster’ Inoue began at breakneck speed, landing with a rapid uppercut, as well as several other piercing punches during the first round, although Moloney did land a decent body shot in the dying embers of the session.
Inoue (20-0, 17 KOs) was able to get in and out of range swiftly, which was proving difficult for Moloney (21-2, 18 KOs) to establish his rhythm, but again he landed to the body in the second.
Inoue landed a big right uppercut that the Aussie took well in the third, and he doubled up on the shot later in the round. Another left uppercut followed by a short right seemed to hurt the challenger, and he was having to work hard just to match the Japanese buzzsaw.
Inoue’s timing and power is what sets him apart from most, and he was razor-sharp here, easily taking Moloney’s best shots, while firing back at will, finding angles to generate more and more power.
As the fight approached halfway, you sensed it was a matter of time before Inoue stepped up the pace to finish the job, and the 27-year-old duly stated his intentions by scoring a sixth round knockdown.
As Moloney went to throw a shot, Inoue timed him to perfection with a counter left hand on the chin that floored the former world title challenger.
The 29-year-old beat the count, and survived a further barrage from the champion to see out the round, but the conclusion was inevitable.
Inoue mainly took the round off, but with seconds remaining in the seventh, Moloney threw out a lazy left, which was countered to the maximum with a huge right hand that robbed Moloney of his senses, and his legs, as they betrayed him while attempting to beat the count.
It was another display of frightening punching power from the pound-for-pound star, who retained his titles in style.
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SHOW. CLOSED. 😳 @naoyainoue_410 did it like no one else in the Bantamweight division can. #InoueMoloney
“Moloney has a great defence, and it was difficult to get through,” Inoue told ESPN post-fight.
“(Nordine) Oubaali and (Nonito) Donaire are fighting for the WBC title soon, and (John Riel) Casimero has the WBO belt, those two belts are in my sights.”
Mayer calls for Harper after claiming maiden world title
Eva Brodnicka lost her WBO Super Featherweight belt on the scales after coming into her fight with Mikaela Mayer a pound overweight, and then lost her first professional fight as Meyer became world champion with a wide unanimous decision win.
Mayer (14-0, 5 KOs) has been calling for world title fights, especially against WBC and IBO champion, Terri Harper, and she backed up her words with a dominant victory here.
The fight wasn’t a thriller, with Brodnicka (19-1, 2 KOs) deducted two points for excessive holding, and the Pole didn’t have the power to trouble the American, who easily dictated behind a long left jab, with the occasional power punch thrown in.
Two scores of 100-88 and a third at 99-89 confirmed Mayer’s dominance, as she took a landslide points win.
“It was a good learning fight, and I felt I won all ten rounds,” Mayer told ESPN post-fight.
“I want Terri Harper next. I don’t want to wait around for years to unify the division, I want to do it right away.
“Eddie Hearn (Harper’s promoter) and Terri said I had to go and get a belt, and I’ve done that now so I want her next.”
2016 Olympic Gold Medallist, Robson Conceicao (15-0, 7 KOs) survived a scare, getting off the canvas and seeing two points deducted for low blows, before taking a ten round decision against Luis Coria (12-4, 7 KOs) in a gruelling contest.
A hard left hook floored the Brazilian in the second round, and he was hurt, but he rallied to end the round strongly.
Both had their successes, but Conceicao had that little more class, and two scores of 95-92 and a third of 94-93 ensured the Super Featherweight remained unbeaten.
Heavyweight powerhouse Jared Anderson (7-0, 7 KOs) made it seven knockouts in as many wins, needing just a round to stop Luis Eduardo Pena (6-2, 6 KOs).
At Super Lightweight, Julian Rodriguez (21-0, 14 KOs) stopped Jose Eduardo Lopez Rodriguez (29-8-2, 15 KOs) in three, while Andy Hiraoka (16-0, 11 KOs) halted Rickey Edwards (12-5, 3 KOs) in four, also at 140 pounds.