Is Naoya Inoue the best boxer in the world today?

This is Rummy’s Corner. When boxing fans discuss the best pound for
pound boxers in the world today, the two names that are most frequently mentioned for the
top spot are Vasyl Lomachenko and Terence Crawford. Oleksandr Usyk is also in the discussion,
as are guys like Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin. Spence Jr is in the mix, and even a guy like
Manny Pacquiao probably still deserves a spot in this discussion, following his solid performance
in his recent 12 round split decision victory against Keith Thurman. Then we have Inoue Naoya. He too is certainly in the discussion, and
having recently binge-watched all of his championship fights one after another – I�m beginning
to wonder if this monster doesn�t have the best claim as the greatest boxer in the world
at this time. On April 6, 2014, in just his 6th professional
bout, Inoue challenged WBC jr flyweight champion Adrian Hernadez. Inoue began the fight patiently, and before
long, he was landing some nice right hands coupled with some short explosive combinations. Inoue had seized command of the action in
the opening round, and he carried that momentum throughout the early rounds. It wasn�t until the 4th round that Hernandez
finally began fighting effectively on offense. The champion was battling bravely, and he
was putting forth some spirited attacks, but Inoue was taking the punishment well, and
consistently firing back in menacing style. Towards the end of round 6, Inoue nailed Hernandez
with a sweet right hand that dropped the champion. Hernandez made it to his feet, but he appeared
badly confused and reluctant, which prompted referee Michael Griffin to wave off it off. The fight it was over! It was a 6th round technical knockout, and
at the time of the stoppage, Inoue was pitching a 50 to 45 shutout on all three official scorecards. Naoya Inoue had just become the NEW WBC jr
flyweight champion of the world! On September 5, 2014, Inoue made the first
defense of his 108 pound WBC title against Wittawas Basapean (Witta-wah-ss Bah-sa-pee-an). This one was a tactical battle where Basapean
was looking to land big, but Inoue was fighting a very disciplined fight. As the rounds progressed, Inoue started opening
up with more and more well timed combinations. It was a largely a tactical affair and Inoue
was winning the battle of tactics, and his marvelous blend of technique, ring smarts,
and explosiveness. Inoue dropped Basapean in round 4 with some
quick crisp punching. Basapean survived the rest of the round without
further incident, but he was absorbing a beating. In round 6, another blistering combination
from Inoue was punctuated by a devastating left to the body, and Basapean down again. The challenger bravely battled on, but he
was simply outgunned and outclassed. By the later rounds, it had become target
practice for Inoue, and the referee had finally seen enough, officially waving it off for
an 11th round technical knockout. On December 30, 2014, Inoue jumped up two
weight classes to 115 pounds when he challenged WBO junior bantamweight champion Omar Andres
Narvaez. Inoue started opening up with some heavy shots
right out of the gate, and Narvaez was done less than 30 seconds into the contest. Narvaez made it to his feet, but he looked
badly dazed. Inoue was measured and patient as he methodically
followed up and soon had Narvaez down again! The champion again beat the count, and amazingly,
he survived the rest of the round. About halfway through the 2nd, Inoue dropped
the champion again with a sweet counter left. As the 2nd was drawing towards a close, Inoue
unleashed an absolutely savage combination that was punctuated by two devastating body
shots that had Narvaez down for the 4th and final time as referee Lou Moret counted him
out. Naoya Inoue had just become the new WBO junior
bantamweight champion of the world. On December 29, 2015, Inoue made the first
defense of his WBO 115 pound title when he squared off against challenger Warlito Parrenas. Right at the start, Inoue didn�t waste any
time putting together some nice thudding combos. Per his trademark, Inoue was doing an outstanding
job mixing up his attacks while using a wide assortment of punches both upstairs and down. Inoue was jabbing well to begin round 2, and
before long, he unloaded two quick vicious assaults that dropped the challenger. Parrenas was slow to his feet, but he beat
the count as an anxious Inoue was ready to pounce! And pounce he did, as another furious assault
soon had Parrenas down again. Referee Mike Ortega didn�t like what he
was seeing, and he waved it off mid-count. It was a 2nd round technical knockout and
the first defense of his junior bantamweight belt. On May 8, 2016 Inoue made the second defense
of his WBO junior bantam title when he went up against challenger David Carmona. Inoue got off to his typical patiently explosive
start, and Carmona was quickly on the defensive. This was a battle of tactics, with a lot of
maneuvering for position. From the onset Carmona was fighting a smart
fight, despite Inoue doing the better work. There was a lot of jabbing and posturing,
and early in the contest Inoue realized he was in there with a sound technician. Inoue was frequently throwing just 1 punch
at time, while never overextending or losing focus. Both boxers were landing, and both were having
moments – but Inoue was consistently landing harder and sharper. But Carmona was determined, and he was using
excellent footwork and often winning the battle of range, while frequently making Inoue miss
just short. But even in the rounds were Carmona was doing
his best work, he was still being outgunned by the firepower of Inoue. During the later half of the scheduled 12
rounder, Inoue was more focused on jabbing and he was jabbing with more authority. This approach greatly diminished Carmona�s
output. Whenever Inoue was consistently working behind
the jab, he was usually controlling the action, and when he wasn’t working behind the jab,
Carmona was finding ways to do some sneaky work. Inoue started opening up more later in the
fight, and In the 12th and final round, Inoue began administering a savage beating!!! Amazingly Carmona absorbing some blistering
punishment before he eventually succumbs to the assault. Carmona survived the count and he BRAVELY
made it to the final bell. Inoue was awarded a unanimous decision victory,
with 2 judges scoring the bout 118-109, and the other having it 116-111. On September 4, 2016, Inoue made the third
defense of his WBO junior bantamweight crown against Karoon Jarupianlerd. RIght out of the gate, Inoue was more active,
more effective, and he was doing a fine job of making Jarupianlerd swing and miss. Inoue was outboxing the challenger, and he
was dictating the terms of the range, distance, and tempo. This trend continued, and while Jarupianlerd
sometimes had some decent isolated moments, by and large Inoue was in cruise control and
he was having little difficulty keeping the action to his liking, as he patiently showcased
his ample skillset. Karun was having some of his better moments
mid-fight, but he wasn�t doing enough to win rounds, and in the rare instances he was
finding success, Inoue almost always came back with something heavier and more damaging. Inoue continued controlling the action by
jabbing and moving and sometimes unloading. As round 10 was drawing near an end, Inoue
unleashed a prolonged relentless barrage of menacing punches that ultimately overwhelmed
Jurapianlerd. Referee Mark Nelson counted him out, and it
was a 10th round KO for Inoue. On December 20, 2016, Inoue made the fourth
defense of his WBO junior bantamweight title against challenger Kohei Kono. Inoue began the fight jabbing with authority
and controlling the action. Kono had a few nice moments in the early going,
but Inoue was having more moments, and better moments. By round 3, Kono was trying hard and battling
bravely, but Inoue was dominating the action with some clubbing combinations. To his credit, Kono continued doing everything
he could, but he was being outmaneuvered and outpunched by a superior technician. Inoue was jabbing well in the 5th, and he
began landing all types of sneaky shots. Kono was on the attack early in the 6th, and
Inoue smashed him with a wicked counter left. Kono managed to beat the count, but shortly
after, Inoue had Kono down again and referee Robert Byrd had seen enough. It was a 6th round technical knockout for
Inoue. On May 21, 2017, Inoue made the fifth defense
of his WBO junior bantamweight crown against Ricardo Rodriguez. Things began tactically, with Inoe looking
to control the distance with a nice jab, excellent footwork, and short explosive combinations. Rodriguez was trying to work his way inside
to attack, but he wasn�t especially effective. Inoue was comfortably in control of the action
as he began dissecting Rodriguez with surgical like precision. Early in round 3, Inoue dropped Rodriguez
with a furious 3 punch combination. Ricardo was quick to his feet, but Inoue soon
had him down again compliments of a monster left hook. This time Rodriguez would not be beating the
count. It was a 3rd round knockout for Inoue. On September 9, 2017, Inoue made the sixth
defense of his WBO junior bantamweight title on his American television debut against Antonio
Nieves.Inoue started the fight strong, and he was controlling the action with a stellar
jab and some beautiful short combinations. This set the tone of the fight, and the early
rounds quickly transformed into a vintage effort from Inoue. As things progressed into the middle rounds,
Inoue continued repeatedly nailing Nieves with a snappy jab, and he was also beginning
to mix in some nice 2 and 3 punch combos for good measure. In round 5 Inoue drops Nieves with a crippling
left to the body. Nieves beat the count, and Inoue started mercilessly
digging left hooks to the body with frightening regularity, as Nieves held on to survive the
brutal round. Nieves was absorbing a lot of punishment in
round 6, which ultimately caused him to revert into full retreat mode. Inoue tried persuading him to step up, but
Nieves wasn�t taking the bait. Nieves survived until the end of round 6,
and his corner promptly stopped the fight. It was a 6th round TKO for Inoue. On December 30, 2017 Inoue made the seventh
defense of his WBO junior bantamweight crown against challenger Yoan Boyeaux. In the opening round, Inoue was already managing
to rattle the challenger with several short heavy combinations. As the 1st round was nearing an end, Inoue
clipped Boyeaux with a devastating left hand. Boyeax beat the count, and the round was over. Inoue continued bringing the heat in round
2, and he had Boyeax looking off balance and mighty uncomfortable.Early in the 3rd, Inoue
landed a crippling left to the body that resulted in a delayed reaction knockdown. Boyeaux bounced up quickly, but appeared badly
hurt. Inoue jumped on his wounded foe and soon had
him down again after a furious assault. Boyeaux again bravely made it to his feet
and battled on, but Inoue easily dropped him again and the fight was over. It was a devastating 3rd round technical knockout
for Inoue. On May 25, 2018, Inoue moved up to 118 pounds
when he challenged reigning WBA champion Jamie McDonnell. The champion was looking to jab and move and
keep at range, as Inoue patiently stalked forward. Inoue quickly caught up with him and was landing
some thunder to body and head. Less than halfway through the round, Inoue
wobbled the champion with a left hook high on the head. Another 2 punch combination floored the champion. McDonnell made it to his feet, and cool as
an assassin, Inoue began carving through him, and the referee waved it off just as McDonnell
timbered his way to the canvas. The fight was over. Naoya Inoue had just become the new WBA bantamweight
champion of the world. It was a devastating display of power and
accuracy from Inoue, who was now a 3 division world champion. On October 7, 2018, Inoue made the first defense
of his WBA bantamweight crown when he faced challenger Juan Carlos Payano. Less than a minute into the opening round,
as both boxers were still in the feeling out process, Inoue fired off a quick one-two that
dropped the challenger. McDonnell would not be beating the count. And in his most recent bout on May 18, 2019,
Inoue made the second defense of his WBA bantamweight crown when he went up against Emmanuel Rodriguez. It was yet another vintage powerhouse performance
from Inoue. Early in round 2, Inoue landed a right to
the body followed by a sledgehammer hook upstairs, and Rodriguez was down. He made it to his feet, but was quickly down
again after a monster right to the body. Rodriguez was bloodied and appeared badly
hurt. He bravely continued, but by this point he
was already beaten, and Inoue effortlessly put the final touches on another masterpiece
performance. Simply put, Naoya Inoue is one of the most
complete boxers in the game today. Inoue truly has it all – exceptional Footwork,
superb positioning, an incredible understanding of range and distance, defensively very responsible,
superb punching technique with every punch in the book, fluid powerful combinations,
absolutely menacing work to the body, incredible timing with an extraordinary ability to land
sharp counters, extremely high ring IQ – and on top of all of that, he has this devastating
power in both hands. And even scarier, at 26 years old, Inoue still
seems to be consistently improving his craft. I�m not sure if Inoue is the one most deserving
of the mythical title known as The Pound for Pound King – but if he isn�t the best, he�s
on a very short list. Naoya Inoue is indeed a Monster! Thanks for watching everyone. Hope you enjoyed, and have a wonderful night. This is Rummy�s Corner.

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