Scott Christ (36-10-2)
Some people like the concept of mandatory challengers, and I agree the concept is OK. There are plenty of fighters out there who would be (and are) avoided for fights they really have earned, at least as much as boxing makes anyone earn title fights ever. But boxing has a lot of “concepts” that sound good but are then abused on one level or five. Mandatory challengers are one of them. How many Canelo-Yildirim and Taylor-Khongsong type fights do you really need to sit through? And to know you have to, that the guy with the belt (another thing better in concept than boxing reality) he wants to keep has to do this or be stripped or whatever? It stinks and sucks.
Inoue-Dasmarinas is one of those. I’m sure he’ll try his best — no reason to suspect he won’t — but on paper Dasmarinas has no business in a ring with Inoue. Maybe he’ll shock the world, he wouldn’t be the first to at least be stunningly competitive when expected to get trucked, but the smart money is on trucked. Inoue TKO-3
How to Watch Inoue vs Dasmarinas
Wil Esco (38-8-2)
Naoya Inoue is 28 years old and clearly in the prime of his meteoric rise up the pound-for-pound ranks. Inoue is a rare talent who possess pretty much all the attributes you’d want in a fighter: speed, power, technique, ferocity, and a considerable boxing IQ to match. Inoue could soon meet a bridge too far is he decides to go up in weight, but in this particular fight against Dasmarinas I see nothing that Inoue hasn’t already seen and handled. I’m going to take Inoue to score a first half stoppage. Inoue TKO-4
Patrick L. Stumberg (37-9-2)
I don’t think anyone would have complained if I’d taken one look at this matchup, said “Inoue’s going to punch a hole through this dude’s head,” and left to go play Guilty Gear. Despite this, I put in the time to actually watch tape, and can now say with empirical data backing that Inoue’s going to punch a hole through this dude’s head. Dasmarinas’ selling points begin and end with offbeat movement and decent body punching, neither of which figure to even remotely bother the likes of Inoue. Unless he’s literally fallen off a cliff since the Moloney beating, Inoue will have no trouble cutting off the cage and punishing the Filipino’s looping punches with his customary ramrod counters.
All Dasmarinas can really hope is that this will finally be the beating that convinces the IBF to revamp its rankings. He can be a “Hot and Spicy” martyr for challengers yet to come. Inoue KO-2