Fight Preview: Inoue vs Payano

Inoue vs Payano

Payano Challenges “The Monster”

On October 7th in Yokohama, Japan, tournament WBA Bantamweight champion Naoya “Monster” Inoue defends his title against Juan Carlos Payano. This bout is the kickoff for the WBSS (World Boxing Super Series) Bantamweight tournament. Inoue–Payano will broadcast worldwide through DAZN.

Naoya Inoue (16-0,14 KOs)

Known as “Monster”, Naoya Inoue reputation grows with each fight. A former champion at Jr. Flyweight and Jr. Bantamweight, Inoue has ran through his opponents up to this point in his career. His most impressive performance of 2018 alone was his 1st round destruction of Jamie McDonnell to win the WBA belt, taking place this past May. Inoue is one of those “it” fighters right now.

Inoue is a power boxer, a fighter displaying high level skill, hand and foot speed, and devastating power in both hands. Further, Naoya executes his craft with ease, displaying top-notch technique and discipline in the ring. He can box when he wants, but also can fight on the front foot; cutting off the ring and eventually chopping a fighter down with body shots.

Advice to Inoue: At times, you occasionally fight with your head a bit erect and don’t always keep your chin tucked. Be careful against the likes of a Payano who can throw wild and wide shots from odd angles, possibly catching you with a shot or two. Up to this point in his career Naoya has been a force; will you continue to be a force against this strong-willed opponent?

Juan Carlos Payano (20-1, 9 KOs)

While not the favorite heading into his showdown, former WBA Bantamweight titlist Juan Carlos Payano isn’t one to sleep on. A hardened and experienced fighter, the southpaw Payano brings style that could cause problems for Inoue. Payano applies constant movement, always shifting his head and body. This makes him harder to hit than his aggressive style would suggest. Payano is also physically very strong for a Bantamweight. He can be very rugged in there when he feels fit. That combination could be frustrating for Inoue if the Japanese superstar is drawn deep into the fight and can’t hurt Payano, who has declared in the pre-fight lead up that Inoue will not put him down.

Advice to Payano: Despite being effectively awkward, at times, you get hit flush up the middle with straight shots. Don’t get caught up the middle against a puncher like Inoue. I don’t care how you much you declare that you will not go down against Inoue; take too many straight shots from this puncher and you will go down – HARD!

The Outcome

Naoya Inoue will not blow over Juan Carlos Payano in the manner he destroyed Jamie McDonnell. However, on balance, Naoya is the better fighter and brings more tools to this battle. Things could get tricky should Payano survive the early rounds, but Inoue’s combination of skill, speed, and power will be too much for Payano over time. “The Monster” wins this fight by eight round stoppage.

By: Michael Wilson Jr.

About Mike W.2017 Articles
Mike is the host of boxing podcast "Pound 4 Pound Boxing Report" and is a Senior Writer for