4 minutes read

Naoya Inoue Survives 1st Round Knockdown To Obliterate Nery In 6th

Naoya Inoue Survives 1st Round Knockdown To Obliterate Nery featured image
Japan's Naoya Inoue (C) celebrates his victory over Mexico's Luis Nery in their IBF-WBA-WBC-WBO super-bantamweight title boxing match at the Tokyo Dome in Tokyo on May 6, 2024. (Photo by Philip FONG / AFP) (Photo by PHILIP FONG/AFP via Getty Images)

Naoya Inoue suffered a brief scare during the defense of all his 122 lbs titles against Mexican challenger Luis Nery, but silenced all doubters as he eventually knocked out Nery in the 6th round to verify himself as one of the best fighters―if not the best―on the face of the planet. Inoue and Nery headlined today on May 6th at the 55..000-capacity stadium of the Tokyo Dome in Tokyo, Japan.

The super bantamweight match between undisputed champion Naoya Inoue (27-0, 24 KO’s) and Mexican challenger Luis Nery (35-2, 27 KO’s) was preceded by Nery’s firm role as the villain by the Japanese public due to his past and weight issues against retired Japanese world champion Shinsuke Yamanaka; managing to defeat Yamanaka twice by technical knockout (TKO) despite testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) following their first fight in 2017, and missing weight during their second a year later.

During the 1st round of their fight, Nery would fulfill his position as the antagonist after surprisingly knocking Inoue down following an exchange between them―culminating in Inoue suffering the first knockdown of his career. It would prove to be the first and only significant moment for Nery during the entire match, however, as Inoue turned into a completely different fighter when the 2nd round arrived; eventually knocking Nery down himself with a left hand from the orthodox position.

The next 2 rounds featured no knockdowns but saw Naoya Inoue root himself in his reputation of being a dominant fighter as he gradually broke Nery down. By the 5th round, Nery had been taken an onslaught of punches that he was barely able to respond to, setting him up to be knocked down for the 2nd time by Inoue.

The 6th round proved to be the final round as Inoue continued to simply dominate with combinations until Nery was dropped for the 3rd time into the ropes, proving unable to respond thereafter which led to Inoue being declared the winner by knockout (KO).

It was another dominant outing for Inoue following a surprise knockdown that did the opposite of debilitate him, and actually appeared to spur Inoue to be at his very best. While Nery’s knockdown was momentous, it would only prove to be so for Inoue who mentioned himself during the post-match interview that he was determined to be at his best after suffering the first knockdown of his career.

The undercard, which saw several world title fights occur, bore witness to Japanese WBA flyweight champion Seigo Yuri Akui (20-2-1, 11 KO’s) retain his world title for the first time of his career following a unanimous decision (UD) win over countryman Taku Kuwahara (13-2, 8 KO’s); helping to cement himself as a legitimate world champion. This was the second match between the two fighters and therefore a rematch of their 2021 bout which Akui also won―by technical knockout (TKO).

Naoya Inoue Survives 1st Round Knockdown To Obliterate Nery image 1
Japan’s Seigo Yuri Akui (L) is named the winner at the end of his 12-round decision over Japan’s Taku Kuwahara in their WBA flyweight title boxing match at the Tokyo Dome in Tokyo on May 6, 2024. (Photo by Philip FONG / AFP) (Photo by PHILIP FONG/AFP via Getty Images)

WBA bantamweight champion Takuma Inoue (20-1, 5 KO’s), younger brother of headliner Naoya Inoue, similarly fought a domestic rival in Sho Ishida (34-4, 17 KO’s), going the distance with him over the course of 12 rounds before being announced the winner by UD, resulting in him retaining his title for the second time of his career.

Naoya Inoue Survives 1st Round Knockdown To Obliterate Nery image 2
Japan’s Takuma Inoue (R) is declared the winner over Japan’s Sho Ishida after a 12-round decision in their WBA bantamweight title boxing match at the Tokyo Dome in Tokyo on May 6, 2024. (Photo by Yuichi YAMAZAKI / AFP) (Photo by YUICHI YAMAZAKI/AFP via Getty Images)

In the same bantamweight division, another world title fight between WBO champion Jason Moloney (27-3, 19 KO’s) and Yoshiki Takei (9-0, 8 KO’s) saw the title change hands after 12 rounds as Takei coursed to his own unanimous decision win to become a world champion for the first time of his career.

Inoue’s latest victory and continued dominance should have him regarded as the pound-for-pound king; at least for now, depending on the outcome of Terence Crawford’s (40-0, 31 KO’s) upcoming August 3rd 154 lbs title bout against WBA champion Israil Madrimov (10-0-1, 7 KO’s), but in any case the Japanese champion continues to assert his dominance as a fighter.

With Inoue having just completed the first defense of all his four 122 lbs world titles [and lineal title], he can now look forward to fighting new prospective challengers; with an in-ring appearance by Australian contender Sam Goodman (18-0, 8 KO’s) after the fight suggesting he has already found an ideal opponent to fight later this year.