Jamie McDonnell has lost his bantamweight world title in Tokyo after being stopped by Naoya Inoue in the opening round.
Britain’s two-time world champion was floored in the first 90 seconds, at the Ota-City General Gymnasium, before it was all over with less than two minutes gone.
McDonnell did well to make it back after a heavy left-hook put him down, but with Inoue trapping him on the ropes immediately, the referee was forced to step in.
— WBA Boxing (@WBABoxing) May 25, 2018
There was still 68 seconds left before the bell but with the ‘Monster’ in devastating mood, the Doncaster man’s disappointment was evident.
He travelled to the Far East as Britain’s longest-reigning world champion but as soon as Inoue’s power shots landed, he was in trouble.
The first left hook that landed saw McDonnell stumble back and the challenger then fainted a right and unleashed a left hook to the body that sent him to the shining white canvas.
There had been plenty of rumours about the Yorkshireman struggling to make the bantamweight limit again, but the ferocity of Inoue’s shots certainly sent out a warning to the rest of the division.
McDonnell’s toughness saw him get back up at least but there was little he could do as the 25-year-old from Yokohama, went for the finish.
At least four left-right combinations, the hook followed by a simple, searing right, had McDonnell in even more trouble, with Luis Pabon rightly calling a halt.
The clock showed 1min 8secs remaining as his four-year, seven-defence reign as WBA ‘World’ bantamweight title, came to a disappointing and devasting end.
In another bout, WBC light flyweight titleholder Ken Shiro of Japan knocked out Ganigan Lopez of Mexico in the second round of their scheduled 12-round rematch.