The Sportsbook fight in the World Boxing Super Series bantamweight tournament has the No. 7-ranked pound-for-pound fighter Naoya “Monster” Inoue laying his “regular” WBA title on the line against Juan Carlos Payano this Sunday at the Yokohama Arena in Yokohama, Japan. The current “regular” WBA champion is a -3500 favorite in this bout with the challenger coming back at +1200.
Inoue has been favored in each of his last seven fights that there have been odds for, being a favorite on average at -3042 with his lowest odds coming in his last fight when he closed as a -588 fave vs Jamie McDonnell. That fight ended in a first-round TKO victory for Monster. Meanwhile, Payano has been favored in his last three fights as an average of a -1700 fave. The Dominican Republic native closed as a +143 underdog four fights ago when he lost via majority decision vs Rau’shee Warren.
Breaking down Inoue vs Payano
Inoue (-3500) not only puts his “regular” WBA bantamweight title on the line but also his perfect 16-0 record. The Japan native has won 14 of those 16 fights via knockout and has defended his WBO junior bantamweight title seven times while this is his first WBA defense. The 25-year-old has spectacular footwork matched with explosive power in both hands. The orthodox fighter rarely puts his opponents down with one punch, but rather lands a flurry of punches that cause his foes to crumble.
Payano (+1200) looks to push his win streak to four after falling to Rau’shee Warren via majority decision in June of 2016. This is the first fight in Asia for Payano, having the majority of his bouts taking place in the States. The 34-year-old southpaw is a technical fighter who lacks true knockout power, earning just nine knockouts through his 21 professional fights. Payano was formerly the WBA super bantamweight champion but lost his title in that defeat by Warren.
This is a very tough task for Payano to travel to Japan to take on the extremely elusive power puncher in Inoue. Monster has all the makings of becoming the next big name in boxing and a decisive win over Payano would go a long way to build his legacy. The Dominican Republic native will need to work well behind his jab if he looks to outpoint Inoue, however, the Japan native’s ability to judge distance and stay out of harm’s way is remarkable.
Prediction: Naoya Inoue (-3500) via knockout
|Juan Carlos Payano||+1200|
Odds as of October 3 at Sportsbook