Nayoa "Monster" Inoue is set to make his first defense of the World Boxing Association world bantamweight title belt against Juan Carlos Payano on Sunday, Oct. 7 in Yokohama, Japan. The draw is a first-round fight of the World Boxing Super Series tournament.
Inoue, 25, enters the fight 16-0 (14 KOs). In his latest bout, he defeated Jamie McDonnell with a first-round technical knockout to secure the WBA world bantamweight title in May. It marked the shortest fight Inoue had fought in since his second-career fight, when he defeated Bunnam Thammakhun with a first-round knockout in January 2013. Inoue, who's making his WBSS debut, will have a sort of homefield advantage in Sunday's fight, which is set to take place in his hometown of Yokohama.
Payano, 34, enters the contest 20-1 (nine KOs). He has won three straight matches. His latest victory was a unanimous decision against then-undefeated Mike Pania in March. Inoue will mark the third different undefeated fighter Payano has faced in his eight-year pro career. He also faced Rau'shee Warren twice, once in 2016 and again in 2017. Their first matchup finished in a split decision, but Warren won the second via majority decision, marking the first loss in Payano's career.
While there is a nine-year age gap between the two opponents, Inoue and Payano have a similar frame with both being listed at 5'5". Inoue has a longer reach at 67.5", compared to Payano's 64.5". Inoue employs a orthodox stance; Payano uses southpaw. Although Inoue is less experienced (92 rounds) than Payano (137), the Japanese packs a bigger punch. He's knocked out 88% of his opponents.
How to Watch
Time: Sunday, 7 a.m. ET
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