by Katareena Carysse Roska
LOS ANGELES -- For boxers in the bantamweight division, getting a ring date with WBA and IBF champ Naoya Inoue has become a magnificent obsession.
The 5-foot-5 Japanese is a box-office draw that facilitates huge paydays for whoever challenges him and his belts.
The undefeated 29-year old Inoue, still blossoming in his prime, is a murderous puncher who is on a mission to unify the 115-pound realm.
So what makes him super special?
The most unique aspect about Inoue’s approach to the sport are his body shots, punches directed to the core of the opponent. '
I don’t feel the need to go into detail about the type of agony that these blows can inflict upon a person, but if a professional boxer can’t take Inoue’s hits, I doubt anyone can.
Most knockouts are achieved through a head shot. It’s the cinematic punch that gets recognized the most for its flashiness and its obvious display of a landslide win.
Inoue however, doesn’t get his name for being common.
His fights have a certain formula to them. They have a wow factor that is replicated perfectly almost every time Inoue steps into the ring.
And it’s because of his lethal body shots.
Inoue does not waste a hit. Every step and every punch is utilized fully.
Inoue, who fights orthodox, goes in for a punch to the liver. For Inoue fans, that’s how they know it’s over. It’s quite literally gut-wrenching. The audience can feel the pain along with Inoue’s opponent.
For a brief and very fleeting moment, you think his opponent is fine. They are stunned, like a deer in headlights.
But in the blink of an eye, Inoue’s hits are finally processed by its victim. It is a delayed reaction, false hope to the other corner of the ring. They are down on the floor before the clock ticks a second further, writhing in pain and digesting the entirety of the calculated brutality that had just occurred.
Naoya Inoue stands unfazed, his back towards the just fallen, fully aware of the damage he has just dished out with flawless ease. While other fighters may choose to mock the recently defeated, Inoue lets his actions speak louder than mindless taunts and playground insults, screaming victory to anyone watching.
The moniker “monster” is not enough to encapsulate Naoya Inoue’s merciless record.
21 wins. 18 of them knockouts.
Naoya Inoue is the One Punch Man in living, breathing flesh.