Top Rank Boxing
One of boxing’s pound-for-pound most entertaining fighters returns to the ring on Saturday night when WBA and IBF bantamweight champion Naoya Inoue defends his belts against Michael Dasmarinas (10 p.m. ET, ESPN).
Inoue has finished nine of his 10 most recent opponents. The lone fight where Inoue’s power did not carry him to a knockout victory was his 2019 Fight of the Year with Nonito Donaire. The win over Donaire looks even better in 2021 after Donaire knocked out Nordine Oubaali in May to win the WBC bantamweight title.
Inoue followed up his decision win over Donaire — which also won Inoue the World Boxing Super Series tournament — by knocking out Jason Moloney in the seventh round.
When the fighters step into the ring at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas, Dasmarinas will be a heavy underdog despite having not lost since 2014. In that stretch, Dasmarinas has gone 12-0-1, only two of his victories coming by decision.
The simple reality is that Dasmarinas’ opponents in that stretch have not been anywhere near Inoue’s level. That matters little, however, since Dasmarinas decisioned Kenny Demecillo in a March 2019 IBF title eliminator, securing this opportunity.
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This card also marks the return of Mikaela Mayer as she looks to make her first defense of the WBO super featherweight crown against Erica Anabella Farias. Mayer earned the crown last October with a win over Ewa Brodnicka, her first major title as a pro. The undefeated former Olympian carries an undefeated record into her first title defense against Farias, who has not fought since 2019 when she lost a rematch with Jessica McCaskill.
Below you can have a look at the fight card set for Saturday, with odds provided via William Hill Sportsbook.
Inoue vs. Dasmarinas card, odds
Naoya Inoue (c) -2000
Michael Dasmarinas +1000
WBA, IBF bantamweight title
Mikaela Mayer (c) -4000
Erica Anabella Farias +1500
WBO women’s super featherweight title
- Date: June 19 | Location: Virgin Hotels — Las Vegas
- Start time: 10 p.m. ET | How to watch: ESPN | Stream: fuboTV (try for free)
Dasmarinas’ record is impressive, especially over the past six years. You can’t overlook the level of opposition, however, and beating Demecillo to earn a title shot is a lot different than beating Inoue with the titles on the line. Inoue has brutal power and solid boxing technique to utilize it in the best way possible. Dasmarinas seems to be set up for a very bad night. Pick: Inoue via KO5