By Joe Koizumi
Unbeaten and sensational Japanese prospect Naoya Inoue (3-0, 3 KOs), 110.25, decked his third professional bout as he dropped Japan’s top 108-pound contender Yuki Sano (17-3-4, 12 KOs), 110.25, twice and finally halted him with the referee’s intervention at 1:07 of the tenth and final session on Tuesday in Tokyo, Japan. The 20-year-old rookie, who had gained seven national high school championships and decked an amateur mark of 75-6, 48 stoppages, already registered a couple of knockout wins over Filipino champ Crison Omayao (KO4) and Thai titlist Ngaoprajan Chuwattana (KO1) in his first two pro outings.
His third opponent Sano was such a durable veteran as he only lost a controversial split decision to Masayuki Kuroda in a quest for the Japanese 108-pound throne last August. Inoue, however, opened a gash at the right eyelid with a solid left in the opening session and floored him with a vicious left hook in the second and fourth sessions. The youngster controlled all rounds with his fine display of left jabs and left hooks to fully befuddle and bewilder the more experienced opponent. He also showed his good agility in averting Sano’s occasional retaliations with his fine reflexes and quick footwork.
As Sano had bad gashes streaming blood all the way and he absorbed good punishment from Ionoue, the referee finally declared a halt to the lopsided slaughter in the last session. It was well-received by the spectators, who never complained of the stoppage without a knockdown.
Inoue is gunning for a shot at the Japanese national 108-pound belt now held by world-rated Ryoichi Taguchi in his fourth bout, and Inoue will be a prefight favorite if materialized.
Lately this reporter read a biography of Benny Lynch, a great ex-world flyweight champ who could box and punch to win the world belt early in 1930s, hailing from Glasgow, Scottland. Inoue may become such a fantastic champ as Lynch, if successful, but we hope he will not follow his tragic end after his retirement.
Promoter: Ohashi Promotions.