Inoue thrills 55,000 in Tokyo as fightback denies Nery

Naoya Inoue stands over Luis Nery after knocking him down
Naoya Inoue now has 24 knockouts in 27 fights [Getty Images]

Japan's Naoya Inoue climbed off the canvas to stop Luis Nery in six rounds to retain his undisputed super-bantamweight championship in Japan.

The first knockdown of his career only lit a fire in the undefeated Inoue as he outclassed Nery in front of 55,000 fans at the Tokyo Dome.

After exchanging left-hook knockdowns in the opening two rounds, Inoue turned on the style to break down Mexico's Nery and end the challenge to his reign via a brutal right hand.

It was a brilliantly entertaining performance from Inoue, who extended his unbeaten record to 27-0 and staked his claim as the best fighter in the world in any weight division.

Inoue expertly managed to fit all four world title belts around his 5ft 5in frame as he delivered a rousing post-fight interview to his adoring fans.

"How did you like the big surprise in the first round? I was not happy I got knocked down," Inoue said.

"That happening gave me good motivation. I am so thankful to get the fight against Nery."

Inoue has become such a star in his home country that he was able to headline the first boxing event at the Tokyo Dome since James 'Buster' Douglas produced one of the biggest upsets in sports history against Mike Tyson in 1990.

'The Monster', as Inoue is nicknamed, sold out the historic venue and reportedly earned £5.2m before a punch was even thrown.

Inoue's rock star profile was further emphasised by his entrance, as legendary Japanese musician Tomoyasu Hotei welcomed him to the ring.

Hotei played his song 'Battle Without Honor or Humanity', made famous worldwide when it was used in Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill movies.

Inoue entered stony-faced and flanked by a massive firework display, not unlike how heavyweights Anthony Joshua or Tyson Fury might walk to the ring when they fight at Wembley Stadium.

But after a lavish entrance just after 21:00 local time, there was a wretched start for Inoue as he was knocked down by a beautiful left hook from 29-year-old Nery in the opening round.

Fighting from a southpaw stance, Nery caught Inoue flush, but the defending champion recovered well to survive the round.

It was the first time Inoue, a man with 23 knockouts in 26 fights, had hit the deck.

Inoue went on the offensive in the second round and moving backwards landed a lightning quick counter left hook to drop Nery.

The Mexican was quickly back to his feet, but having touched the canvas he began to be more cautious in his approach.

Naoya Inoue stands on the ropes celebrating to the crowd in Japan
Inoue holds the WBA (Super), WBO, IBF, WBC and the Ring magazine super-bantamweight titles [Getty Images]

Inoue, meanwhile, began to settle into a dangerous rhythm, firing powerful shots at Nery and ducking under the left hook that dropped him earlier in the fight.

The defending champion was so comfortable he began to showboat when Nery missed, playing to the crowd as he mixed in body and head shots.

Inoue continued to land and dropped Nery again in round five with another left hook, this time from close range.

Nery rose again, seeing out the round, before Inoue moved in for the finish in round six.

Inoue marched Nery down, backing him on to the ropes and almost sent him through them with the final blow.

Inoue brothers survive to compare scares

Takuma Inoue, the younger brother of Naoya, made a successful defence of his WBA bantamweight title by beating Sho Ishida on points.

Coming into the fight, Ishida had 37 fights to Inoue's 20 and he caught the defending champion by surprise with a stiff jab in the opening exchanges.

Inoue shook off the knockdown and quickly took control, drawing blood from Ishida's nose in the second round.

All three judges handed Inoue a dominant victory, 118-109, 118-109 and 116-111, as he improved his record to 20 wins and just one loss.

His next fight could be an all-Japanese unification bout as Yoshiki Takei's victory over Jason Moloney in the co-main event in Tokyo completed the Japanese domination of the bantamweight division.

Takei dethroned Moloney to win the WBO bantamweight title, joining his compatriots Takuma Inoue, Junto Nakatani (WBC) and Ryosuke Nishida (IBF) as world champions in the division.

More boxing from the BBC