Naoya Inoue, the pound-for-pound great from Japan, knocked out WBC/WBO junior featherweight world champion Stephen Fulton in the eighth round Tuesday at Ariake Arena in Tokyo, Japan. Inoue is now a four-weight world champion and is 20-0 in world title fights.
“Everything I was thinking about was to fight him this year,” Inoue said. “However, unfortunately, I got injured, and I had to postpone this fight. I am sorry to my team and Fulton’s team, but thank you so much for accepting this fight once again. I am so happy right now.”
Inoue (25-0, 22 KOs) kept Fulton at bay in the opening round, peppering the Philadelphia native with a stinging jab. Soon enough, Fulton (21-1, 8 KOs) was in retreat mode, and Inoue marched forward. Fulton kept his guard high as Inoue winged left hooks and right hands. In the seventh round, Fulton had small pockets of success, but Inoue came out in round eight intent on blunting his momentum.
Inoue knocked down Fulton with a right-left combination, and when Fulton rose to his feet, “The Monster” went in for the finish. With Fulton pinned against the ropes, Inoue unleashed a blistering combination, punctuated by a fight-finishing left hook.
El Tren Defends Crown
“El Tren” traveled halfway around the world and authored a devastating performance. In his first title defense, WBO featherweight world champion Robeisy Ramirez dominated Japanese challenger Satoshi Shimizu en route to a fifth-round TKO.
The two-time Cuban Olympic gold medalist had little trouble figuring out Shimizu (11-2, 10 KOs), a two-time Olympian who had won three straight fights entering his first world title opportunity. Ramirez (13-1, 8 KOs) stayed in the pocket against his taller foe, ripping Shimizu with uppercuts and right hooks around his high guard.
In the fifth, Ramirez floored Shimizu with a left uppercut. Shimizu rose from the canvas with a bloody nose and had no answer for the follow-up flurry. A pair of right hooks, followed by a crunching left, forced referee Ramon Pena to step in and halt the one-way beating.
Ramirez said,”This was a tremendous experience. It is a blessing to be able to demonstrate my talent in a stadium full of people and in this part of the world. I am grateful and happy. The job is done.
“Now I set my sights on a world title unification clash. I am ready to go to Japan, Scotland, England, Mexico, wherever we have to fight. I will always be available to do my job”
Junior Featherweights: Yoshiki Takei (7-0 7 KOs) TKO 8 Ronnie Baldonado (16-5-1, 9 KOs), 1:08.
Light Flyweights: Kanamu Sakama (8-0 7 KOs) TKO 8 Ryu Horikawa (3-2-2, 1 KO), 2:40.