One of boxing's pound-for-pound most entertaining fighters returns to the ring on Saturday night when WBA and IBF bantamweight champion Naoya Inoue defends his belts against Michael Dasmarinas (10 p.m. ET, ESPN).
Inoue has finished nine of his 10 most recent opponents. The lone fight where Inoue's power did not carry him to a knockout victory was his 2019 Fight of the Year with Nonito Donaire. The win over Donaire looks even better in 2021 after Donaire knocked out Nordine Oubaali in May to win the WBC bantamweight title.
Inoue followed up his decision win over Donaire -- which also won Inoue the World Boxing Super Series tournament -- by knocking out Jason Moloney in the seventh round.
Inoue will enter the bout as a massive betting favorite when the two step in the ring at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas, and with good reason. While Inoue has fought a who's who of opponents so far, Dasmarinas has not. The Filipino has an impressive record at 12-0-1 since 2014 and only two of those have gone to the scorecards. But this will be his first appearance in the U.S. in an immensely difficult test against one of the best in the world.
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Saturday night also features the return of one of the most prominent active female boxers today when Mikaela Mayer puts her WBO super featherweight title on the line against Erica Farias. Mayer earned her first major title last October with a decision win over Ewa Brodnicka. Now, the Olympic bronze medalist will look to retain that title over a top challenger in Farias who has not fought since 2019 and is riding a two-fight losing streak.
Plus, Isaac Dogboe is back when he takes on Adam Lopez at featherweight. The former super bantamweight champion is looking to move toward a major title in a second division after dropping his title to Emanuel Navarrate in 2018.
Below you can have a look at the fight card set for Saturday, with odds provided via William Hill Sportsbook.
Inoue vs. Dasmarinas card, odds
Naoya Inoue (c) -2000
Michael Dasmarinas +1000
WBA, IBF bantamweight title
Mikaela Mayer (c) -2500
Erica Anabella Farias +1200
WBO women's super featherweight title
|Isaac Dogboe -135||Adam Lopez +115||Featherweight|
- Date: June 19 | Location: Virgin Hotels -- Las Vegas
- Start time: 10 p.m. ET | How to watch: ESPN | Stream: fuboTV (try for free)
Dasmarinas' record is impressive, especially over the past six years. You can't overlook the level of opposition, however, and beating Demecillo to earn a title shot is a lot different than beating Inoue with the titles on the line. Inoue has brutal power and solid boxing technique to utilize it in the best way possible. Dasmarinas seems to be set up for a very bad night. Pick: Inoue via KO5