IBF bantamweight titleholder Emmanuel Rodriguez certainly isn’t showing any fear of Naoya Inoue ahead of Saturday’s fight in Glasgow, where the two meet in a World Boxing Super Series tournament semifinal.
Saturday’s fights — including Josh Taylor vs Ivan Baranchyk — will stream live in the US on DAZN.
Rodriguez (19-0, 12 KO) knows Inoue (17-0, 15 KO) is considered a destroyer and is the big favorite, but he’s confident he’s got the skills to pull the upset.
“I am well aware that I am fighting a guy considered the best by reporters and fans, but I have been waiting this moment my entire life,” Rodriguez said. “I always wanted to fight the best. We are going to go in with all the tools and I can tell you that we will get nothing but the victory and shut up some people’s mouths. On May 18 I will still be the world champion and I will go all the way and take home the trophy to Puerto Rico.”
There may be some added heat, too, as Inoue’s father-trainer Shingo Inoue was shoved at the media workout by a member of Rodriguez’s team.
“It was an open workout so naturally I was taking pictures and using the phone. A guy came over, after staring down at us from the ring, and said I couldn’t do it and pushed me aside. That was very ungentlemanlike,” said Shingo. “The two fighters who have actually trained for this — that’s what we are here to see and who is the better fighter. Outside of the ring, nothing needs to be hostile.”
Naoya reportedly didn’t see the incident, but he’s promising a KO on Saturday.
“I am in great shape, I can’t wait for the fight. I am going to knock out Rodriguez on Saturday,” said Naoya. “I can’t predict the round, but I am going for the KO and it will happen sooner or later. I know what everyone is expecting from me.”