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Japan`s little "Monster" Naoya Inoue defends WBC title

Japan`s little "Monster" Naoya Inoue defends WBC title

Japan`s new boxing sensation Naoya Inoue made a successful first defence of his WBC light flyweight crown with a brutal technical knockout over Thai challenger Samartklek Kokietgym on Friday.

However, Akira Yaegashi lost his WBC flyweight belt in the second contest of a title doubleheader in Tokyo when he was stopped by Nicaragua`s Roman Gonzalez in the ninth round of a bruising encounter.

The snake-hipped Inoue goes by the nickname "Monster" despite standing just 1.63 metres (5 feet, 3 inches) tall and tipping the scales at under 49 kilograms.

But he dumped Samartklek on the seat of his pants three times, the referee calling a halt to the fight in the 11th round with the Thai smattered in blood and his left eye swollen shut.

The unbeaten 21-year-old captured the WBC belt in April in just his sixth pro bout, becoming the quickest Japanese boxer to win a world title.

Inoue snapped the challenger`s head back with some stinging shots before sending him to the canvas with a vicious right hook in the fourth.

Looking fresh as a daisy as Samartklek clung on in desperation, Inoue knocked him down again in the sixth round with a devastating combination and finished the job with a flurry of punches, the referee`s belated intervention bringing no protest from his shattered opponent.

Inoue was ultra-critical of his performance after totally dominating.

"I`m not happy," he told reporters. "I stank. I struggled to make the weight and to be honest it`s a relief to have won."

Nicaraguan Gonzalez, who came into headline bout with a perfect 39-0 record, tore up the script by completely outclassing Yaegashi and dashing his hopes of completing a second defence of his flyweight crown.

The 27-year-old tore into the champion from the opening bell, flooring him in the third with a right-hand bomb, and continued to torment the Japanese, who had no answer to the raw power of the top-ranked challenger.

Gonzalez put Yaegashi out of his misery with a sharp left with 46 second left of the ninth round, leaving the 31-year-old on his knees and in tears while being cradled by the referee.