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Dublin: 12 °C Wednesday 3 June, 2020

Sensational 'Monster' Inoue wrecks unbeaten champ Rodriguez as Taylor joins Scottish boxing greats

Emmanuel Rodriguez was no match for Naoya Inoue in Glasgow as the Japanese became the new IBF bantamweight champion.

NAOYA INOUE ENHANCED his reputation as one of the most exciting fighters on the planet with a brutal second-round stoppage of Emmanuel Rodriguez in Glasgow.

The Japanese put on a sensational show in the World Boxing Super Series (WBSS) semi-final to defeat the previously unbeaten Rodriguez and accure the IBF World bantamweight title.

Inoue, a three-weight world champion, improves his professional record to 18-0 (16KOs) and advances to the WBSS 118-pound final against WBA champion Nonito Donaire later this year.

Four-weight world champion Donaire eliminated Ireland’s Ryan Burnett at the quarter-final stage when the Belfast man was withdrawn ahead of the fifth round after suffering an excruciating back injury.

‘The ‘Filipino Flash’ watched Burnett’s successful ring return at Ulster Hall on Friday night before flying to Glasgow with another former opponent and Belfast boxing great, Carl Frampton, for Saturday’s WBSS semis.

Rodriguez – who slips to 19-1(12KOs) after suffering a first professional defeat – was bright enough in the first round, but Inoue stepped up the gears from there.

A fierce left hook sent Rodriguez to the canvas and he was floored again with a vicious body shot and, although he got up again, a flurry of combinations from Inoue ended the fight.

The 26-year-old victor is now being spoken about as one of the best, if not the very best, fighter in the world pound-for-pound.

In the main event, Edinburgh-born Josh Taylor outclassed Ivan Baranchyk to win the IBF World super-lightweight title via unanimous decision.

Taylor (15-0, 12KOs) floored Baranchyk (19-1, 12KOs) twice in round six and landed three heavy blows in the 10th that rocked his opponent.

An exciting final round saw Baranchyk stagger Taylor, but the Scot fired back with a brutal left of his own.

The Shane McGuigan-trained, Barry McGuigan-managed Taylor won on all three scorecards (117-109, 115-111, 115-111) to move in to the World Boxing Super Series final against Regis Prograis and join the pantheon of Scottish boxing greats.

- Omni, with reporting from Gavan Casey

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