Inoue: McDonnell must fall


By Richard Damerell and Daigo Yasuoka

Last Updated: 21/05/18 4:51pm

Naoya Inoue targets Jamie McDonnell's WBA title on Friday, live on Sky Sports

Naoya Inoue targets Jamie McDonnell’s WBA title on Friday, live on Sky Sports

Naoya ‘The Monster’ Inoue plans to end Jamie McDonnell’s world title reign with a single punch after priming his fearsome power on European sparring partners.

The Japanese fighter challenges McDonnell for the WBA bantamweight belt this Friday afternoon, live on Sky Sports, and has drafted taller fighters into his training camp, including Birmingham man Raza Hamza.

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Standing at 5’10” tall, McDonnell will have a sizeable height and reach advantage, and Inoue admits he needed to adjust his aggressive style as the unbeaten 25-year-old seeks a 16th straight victory in Tokyo.

Sky Live: World title week

Jamie McDonnell and Kal Yafai defend their world titles this week, live on Sky Sports

He told Boxing Mobile Japan: “European fighters have long legs and arms, and it means that their body positioning is different from Asian fighters.

“It isn’t easy to find those kind of fighters in Asia. I didn’t have any difficulty fighting them, but it was a new experience.”

Referring to his size disadvantage, Inoue added: “It’s the first time that I’m going to face a fighter that tall.

“But it’s the same when meeting any fighter for the first time, there’s always something new to contend with.”

Jamie McDonnell is making the seventh defence of his WBA belt Jamie McDonnell is making the seventh defence of his WBA belt

Jamie McDonnell is making the seventh defence of his WBA belt

Inoue is aiming to become a world champion in a third weight division, having blasting his way to titles at light-flyweight and super-flyweight.

He expects another explosive encounter, similar to his swift knockout of Omar Narvaez, and wants to dethrone McDonnell in dramatic style.

Highlights of Inoue's win over Antonio Nieves

Highlights of Inoue’s win over Antonio Nieves

“I think it’ll be similar to the Omar Narvaez fight in terms of intensity,” said Inoue. “McDonnell is a good opponent to have for my first bantamweight fight.”

Asked for a prediction, Inoue added: “McDonnell is a tough fighter but I want to knock him down with one punch.”

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Victory over McDonnell will pave the way for Inoue to enter the World Boxing Super Series, putting him on a collision course with three other world champions in Ryan Burnett, Zolani Tete and Emmanuel Rodriguez, who are confirmed entrants.

“It looks like an exciting tournament,” said Inoue. “If I beat McDonnell, I’ll definitely be competing in it.”

Watch Jamie McDonnell, in Tokyo, on Friday, May 25, from 1pm, live on Sky Sports Action before Kal Yafai takes on David Carmona in the early hours of Sunday morning, from 2.30am, on Sky Sports Action.

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