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Dasmariñas leaving bantam class

SPORTING CHANCE - Joaquin M. Henson (The Philippine Star) - June 23, 2021 - 12:00am

After losing to super WBA/IBF bantamweight champion Naoya Inoue on a third round stoppage in Las Vegas last SaturdayMichael Dasmariñas left the ring without a scratch on his face. The foiled Filipino challenger arrived home Monday night and is now in quarantine at the Sogo Hotel in Pasay.

Dasmariñas hardly put up a fight and landed only 12 punches before referee Russell Mora called off the massacre at 2:45 of the third. He went down once in the second and twice in the third, all from left hooks to the liver. Inoue showed little respect for Dasmariñas who didnt really earn it. The Monster from Japan connected 38 blows, 17 to the body and was 31-of-48 for a lofty 65 percent rate in power shots. No wonder Dasmariñasface was unmarked. Inoue concentrated on a body attack that left Dasmariñas limp with pain. Dasmariñas admitted hed never felt that kind of power from any opponent before.

From the onset, it looked like Dasmariñasfocus was to survive. He moved around the ring, side to side, trying to stay away from harms way. Inoue even dropped his guard, inviting Dasmariñas to engage but the bait didnt work. Eventually, Inoue found his range as the ring wasnt big enough for Dasmariñas to run and hide. When Inoue began pounding Dasmariñasbody, it was just a matter of time before the challenger wilted.

Balak kong gumalaw at umiwas para pagurin si Inoue sa kakahabol,” said Dasmariñas. “Tinamaan ko ng straight sa second round, medyo napatigil siya ng sandali tapos sugod na naman. Ang lakas ng suntok ni Inoue, ‘di kaya ng katawan ko. Aakyat ako sa 122 kasi mainipis ang katawan ko sa 118, dapat magpatibay. Si (Nonito) Donaire, bumisita sa dressing room bago nagsimula ang laban at nag-good luck sa akin. Si (JohnRiel) Casimero, nag-usap kami pagkatapos ng laban at sabi niya, siya na bahala kay Inoue. Magandang laban yung Donaire at Casimero, parehong magagaling at malalakas. Kung sino manalo, siya ang lalaban kay Inoue.”

Dasmariñaspurse was $75,000 but 30 percent was deducted for tax so his take-home will be about P2.5 million. His manager Art Monis said theres a chance the tax bite will be refunded. After hotel quarantine, Dasmariñas will go back to his training camp in Bangar, La Union, pack up then visit his family in Camarines Sur. Despite the humbling loss, Dasmariñas said his boxing career isnt over and hell be back in title contention again, this time in the superbantamweight division.

Hirap na si Michael sa 118,” said Monis. “Pag walang ensayo, ang timbang niya 138 to 140 kaya piga siya sa 118. Mandatory challenger kasi siya kaya sayang kung ‘di lumaban kay Inoue. Sa laban, nakatakip ang mukha ni Michael at nakatayo siya sa harap na walang suntok. Dapat may suntok siya, kulang sa bato. Sabi ni (trainer) Tacy (Macalos), kailangan saktan niya si Inoue para respetuhin ang suntok niya pero kaso malamya.” While protecting his face, Dasmariñas left the sides of his body open and Inoue took advantage.

Donaire, watching at ringside, said, “I give the biggest respect to Michael because Ive been there, I know how it feels but he kept getting upInoue looked very strong.” Donaire said the key to neutralize Inoue is to gain his respect by penetrating the eye of the storm. In 2019, Donaire faced Inoue, took a knee from a shot to the body, got up and lost on points but the Japanese walked away with a fractured right orbital bone, a broken nose and a nasty cut over his right eye. If and when they meet again, Donaire promised the outcome will be different.

NAOYA INOUE
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