This Friday, March 25th, Naoya “Monster” Inoue will aim for his third world championship in as many weight classes when he challenges Jamie McDonnell for the WBA Bantamweight belt. The bout will be shown live to American audiences at 7:15am EST on the recently launched ESPN+ app, from Ota-City General Gymnasium in Tokyo, Japan.
Inoue (15-0-13 KO’s) has wiped his ass with all comers, as he barnstorms thru the lower weights. In just his 6th pro fight, he won the WBC title at 108 pounds. Later that year he skipped 112 altogether and KO’ed long reigning 115 champion, Omar Narvaez, for his WBO laurels. Six title defenses later, one of them in front of U.S. audiences on HBO’s “Superfly 1”, Inoue’s moving up yet again, looking to relieve McDonnell of his 118 pound prize, which he’s held since 2014.
McDonnell’s (29-2-1, 13 KO’s) in the prime of his career and possesses considerable advantages in experience and height, but Inoue has the look of a special, generational talent. Something has to give on Friday, February 25th.