Naoya Inoue vs Emmanuel Rodriguez Fight Preview & Prediction

Naoya Inoue vs Emmanuel Rodriguez LIVE on DAZN/Sky Sports @ 4:00 PM EST / 9:00 PM BST

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Naoya Inoue vs Emmanuel Rodriguez LIVE on DAZN/Sky Sports

Emmanuel Rodriguez will try to retain his IBF title and advance to the WBSS Finals against P4P fighter Naoya Inoue!

Much of the attention on the week of May 18 been devoted to Deontay Wilder’s claims he “wants a body on his record” ahead of his upcoming fight against Dominic Breazeale.

What has largely been ignored within the boxing chatter this week is what’s set to take place in Glasgow, Scotland on Saturday. Namely, the semi-finals of the WBSS tournament at Bantamweight and Super-Lightweight.

The upcoming WBSS Bantamweight semi-final contest between WBA champion Naoya Inoue and IBF champ Emmanuel Rodriguez in particular is arguably the best fight that will take place this week and is two fighters arguably in the primes of their careers.

Because this fight has been so largely slept on, we at 3KingsBoxing has decided to give the bout the attention it deserves with our preview and prediction.

Naoya Inoue (17-0, 15 KO’s)

Age: 26
Yokohama, Japan

The current WBA regular bantamweight champion may be the most explosive fighter in boxing! A fighter with all the tools in the shed, the fighter known as “Monster” has excellent hand and foot speed and power to spare with either hand.

The definition of a power boxer, Inoue has the skills to out-box his foe. However, what makes him special in the eyes of many is dynamic power and the ability to hurt and knock fighters out with either hand to the head or body.

Keys to Victory

Pacing, power and neutralize the jab! Rodriguez likes to fight at a measured pace while Inoue gets off to a hot start, evident by his last two wins coming by way of a first round knockout.

If Inoue can get past the jab, find either a way to get to the body of Rodriguez or land with power punches to the head, it could be a short night.

Emmanuel Rodriguez (19-0, 12 KO’s)

Age: 26
Vega Baja, Puerto Rico

While not nearly as explosive as Inoue, Rodriguez is equally effective as far as his mode of attack. The current IBF champion is more of a boxer and it can be argued that in a test of skills, Rodriguez is equal to Inoue.

The Puerto Rican is an all-around fighter who is well schooled and is good at all aspects of the game. His best assets are his jab, his boxing skills and the ability to control pace and distance.

Keys to Victory

Establish the jab and find a way to put some hurt on Inoue. The stick from Rodriguez is one of the best in the sport. If he can get off with that punch and keep the fight at a measured pace and distance, he has a chance to frustrate and trouble Inoue.

Rodriguez needs to make this a calculated, thinking man’s fight. It would also help if the fighter called “Manny” can get Inoue’s respect early by landing some power shots.


This is an high-level elite battle and one of the best fights so far in 2019. Inoue has the power and ability to start fast out the gate. This places Rodriguez in danger of getting hurt or even knocked out early.

The key to this fight is in whether Rodriguez can deal with the fast start and power of Inoue.

If he can he can do so, Emmanuel Rodriguez will give Inoue a tough battle and all he can handle. In the end however, Inoue has too much in the arsenal.

While Inoue may not get the quick knockout in this fight, he will find a way to get to “Manny”. Rodriguez has shown he can be hurt with body punches, and he has faded late in bouts.

Inoue is a tidal wave, and Rodriguez doesn’t have enough to ultimately combat with the Japanese superstars prowess.

This will be the toughest fight of his career, but Inoue will show how much of a special fighter he is and defeat Rodriguez by 9th round stoppage.

By: Michael Wilson Jr.

Previous Article: Gary Russell Jr: “None of the Other Fighters Are Willing to Fight Me!”

Other Featured Articles: The Art of the Jab: The Most Important Punch in Boxing

About Michael Wilson 247 Articles
Michael is the host of boxing podcast "Pound 4 Pound Boxing Report" and is a writer/contributor for

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