A few hours after all of the UFC 229 chaos settled down, season two of the World Boxing Super Series kicked off with the bantamweight tournament, which is undoubtedly the deeper of the three fields being run through the 2018-19 competition. Japanese destroyer Naoya Inoue, bantamweight’s #2 overall seed, took on former WBA champion Juan Carlos Payano in front of a loud crowd at Yokohama Arena in Japan. This was Inoue’s second fight in the division, having captured world titles in two divisions already, and he looks even scarier at 118 lbs.
Payano (20-2, 9 KOs) is a very good fighter and clearly one of the best in his weight class, but Inoue (17-0, 15 KOs) just casually iced him in 70 seconds, much to the delight of the fans. Inoue has now knocked out both of his bantamweight opponents in a round, and neither Payano nor Jamie McDonnell is a slouch.
Watch the video below, with the KO coming at 2:42:
Inoue advances to the semifinals and will take on the winner of Manny Rodriguez (18-0, 12 KOs) vs. Jason Moloney (17-0, 14 KOs), which is October 20th in Miami, Florida.
To tidy things up, Kiryl Relikh (23-2, 19 KOs) defended his WBA junior welterweight title with a competitive unanimous decision over Eduard Troyanovsky (27-2, 24 KOs) to clinch his spot in the semifinals against the winner of Regis Prograis (22-0, 19 KOs) and Terry Flanagan (33-1, 13 KOs), which goes down on October 27th in New Orleans, Louisiana.