Feature | Sep 25 2017

What it’s like to fight ‘the Monster’ Naoya Inoue

Antonio Nieves tells Lee Gormley exactly what it’s like to share a ring with Naoya Inoue, the man known as ‘the Monster’
Naoya Inoue
InoueNieves_Hoganphotos2  |  Tom Hogan/Hogan Photos/K2

WHILE Srisaket Sor Rungvisai’s second successive victory over Nicaraguan icon Roman Gonzalez and future Hall of Famer hogged the headlines from an impressive ‘Superfly’ fight night at the StubHub Center in California, there was another narrative that was hard to overlook in Carson. Before Gonzalez tasted the second defeat of his long and illustrious career and after Juan Francisco Estrada outscored Carlos Cuadras in a thrilling all-Mexican encounter, a monster was set loose in the same ring. Already a superstar in his native Japan, Naoya Inoue climbed through the ring ropes for the first time outside of the Land of the Rising Sun and shone bright on his United States debut.

Against game challenger Antonio Nieves, the reigning WBO champion at 115lbs enjoyed a sixth-round stoppage success in front of an admiring California crowd.

American challenger Nieves faced an uphill task against the man known as ‘the Monster’, who was aiming to impress and showcase his credentials to the US audience. But ‘Carita’ showed heart to battle on before his corner opted to call a halt to the bout in the sixth, and he was impressed by what was in front of him in the squared-circle that night.


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