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SPORTS SHORTS 153: NAOYA INOUE STOPS MICHAEL DASMARIÑAS IN THREE, NONITO DONAIRE TO FACE JOHN RIEL CASIMERO IN UNIFICATION


PhilBoxing.com





Unified IBF and WBA bantamweight champion Naoya Inoue dropped Michael Dasmariñas three times en route to a knockout victory in the third round at the Virgin Hotel in Las Vegas.

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Inoue landed 17 body punches on Dasmariñas which sent the Filipino to the floor with the third prompting referee Russell Mora to wave off the bout at 2:45 of the third.

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Inoue's lopsided win let the IBF and WBA title belts stay on his waist and improved his career slate to 21-0 with 18 knockouts. He showed to the boxing world that he is now the deadliest KO specialist and the top pound-for-pound fighter.

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Inoue strived to get the attention of the U.S. sports media and boxing fans for the big payday which he did not enjoy while fighting in Japan. He showed swift punches, graceful footwork and an accurate sense of timing in his shots.

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Dasmariñas was first knocked down with Inoue's crushing left to the liver, naturally late in the second round. Dasmariñas went down the floor grimacing in evident pain. He courageously got up and finished the round.

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Inoue floored him again at the middle of the third for the second knockdown and victory was already sensed by the fans. Dasmariñas once more agonized but bravely beat the count and returned to battle. Referee Mora had seen enough after the third trip to the canvas and waived off the fight.

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“I prepare myself to knock them out, whether with a head shot or a body shot,” Inoue said. “I came prepared and to get a win by knockout is good for me.”

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His promoter Bob Arum was all smiles as he hugged Inoue, who will be his next boxing megastar. "Naoya Inoue is a unique force of nature inside that ring,” Arum said. “Another incredible performance from ‘The Monster.’ We are seeing a great fighter at work here, and he is only going to get better.”

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Most likely, he will face the winner of the August 14 unification bout between Nonito Donaire and John Riel Casimero, who were both present at the ringside during the fight.

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Hours before the Inoue-Dasmariñas fight, a huge unification match was signed in the bantamweight division, and it involved two Filipinos, Donaire and Casimero.

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It was a move closer to crowning an undisputed bantamweight as fellow Filipino titlists Donaire of the World Boxing Council (WBC) and Casimero of the World Boxing Organization (WBO) have agreed to unify their bantamweight championships on August 14.

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Donaire posted this on his Twitter account Sunday morning: "My team does magic. Thank you to Richard Shaefer, Rachel Donaire, PBC, TGB and Showtime. Started camp last week. Belt #2 coming soon."

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Donaire (41-6, 27 KOs), age 38 years, recently won the WBC title with a KO win over Nordine Oubaali last month. Casimero (30-4, 21 KOs) won his WBO title in 2019 via TKO of Zolani Tete. He defended it against Duke Micah.

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Casimero was scheduled to face Guillermo Rigondeaux on August 14 before it was cancelled to pave the way for the all-Filipino unification. World title fights between two Filipino boxers rarely happened but lately it has occurred several times.

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Jerwin Ancajas defended his IBF super flyweight title against Jonas Sultan in 2018. Then Donnie Nietes and Aston Palicte fought for the vacant WBO super flyweight title which resulted in a draw. This year, Rene Mark Cuarto defeated Pedro Taduran for the IBF minimumweight title.

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The fight between Donaire and Casimero will be for the history books not only because it will be a battle between two popular champs but likewise because it will be the first time that two Filipino world champions will unify their world titles in the same division.

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He explained on Twitter that MP Promotions President Sean Gibbons, who represents Casimero, told him that the fight was his if he wanted it, to which Donaire said yes.

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Casimero had been vocal about a possible unification bout against Inoue, but now he'll face an equally exciting fighter and future Hall-of Famer in Donaire.

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The championship run ended for the Brooklyn Nets in a 115-111 Game 7 loss in overtime to the Milwaukee Bucks at Barclays Center. Kevin Durant scored 48 points, the most in an NBA playoff Game 7.

* * *

Both James Harden and Durant played all 53 minutes and Bruce Brown played 52 as the Nets failed to advance to the Eastern conference finals. “I just told them how proud I am of them,” said Nets head coach Steve Nash. “Just an unbelievable effort. Gave us everything they had. So much adversity this year."

* * *

For the first time in their 51-year history, the LA Clippers are going to the Western Conference finals. And they did it almost miraculously. Trailing behind by 25 in the third quarter, the Clippers made a historic comeback on an almost impossible 75-40 rally to eliminate the Utah Jazz 131-119 and advance to face the Phoenix Suns.

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Jayson Valdez, son of three-time SEA Games gold medalist Julius Valdez, became the first Filipino shooter to compete in the Olympics since London in 2012. He obtained a free pass to the Tokyo Olympics via the international federation quota places.

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The 25-year-old Valdez will compete in the air rifle 10-meter, the same event where his father competed during his time. He is the last shooter to qualify for the Tokyo Games that will open on July 23. But he is 12th Filipino to have made the list of Olympians.

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Golfers Yuka Saso, the US Open women’s champion, and Bianca Pagdanganan are also expected to qualify together with judoka Kiyomi Watanabe. In 2012, Paul Bryan Rosario made the cut in men’s skeet shooting as a wild card entry.

* * *

The Philippines' Olympic qualifiers so far are boxers Nesthy Petecio, Irish Magno, Carlo Paalam and Eumir Felix Marcial, pole vaulter EJ Obiena, gymnast Carlos Yulo, skateboarder Margielyn Didal, taekwondo jin Kurt Bryan Barbosa, rower Cris Nievarez and weightlifters Hidilyn Diaz and Elreen Ann Ando.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Maloney L. Samaco.


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