Naoya Inoue gets up from knockdown to stop overmatched Luis Nery in Round 6

We saw that Naoya Inoue isn’t perfect. And then we witnessed his greatness.

Luis Nery stunned Inoue and everyone watching by putting Inoue down with a perfect left hook in the opening round of their fight at the Tokyo Dome, the site of Buster Douglas’ historic upset of Mike Tyson.

Would we see another shocking result there? Uh, no.

Inoue, his otherworldly talents on full display, got up from the knockdown to put his Mexican opponent down three times before referee Michael Griffin stopped the fight at 1:22 of Round 6.

Thus, Inoue (27-0, 24 KOs) retained his undisputed 122-pound championship.

“That happening gave me motivation,” Inoue said about the knockdown through a translator afterward.

Nery’s hook about a minute and a half into the fight — landed when Inoue’s right hand was down — genuinely rocked the champion, who had never been on the canvas in his decade long career.

He got up quickly but went into a defensive mode, perhaps a sign that he felt the weight of the blow. However, by the end of the round he seemed to be at 100%.

Then came the fireworks. Inoue, careful to avoid Nery’s left thereafter, proceeded to pick the slower, less skillful Nery apart from both the outside and inside until the Mexican challenger could fight no more.

Inoue put the challenger down with a short left hook as he was rushing in recklessly in the second round, although Nery wasn’t hurt.

The champion scored the second knockdown with the same punch in Round 3. This time Nery seemed to truly feel Inoue’s power.

And, after taking a fearful beating that broke him down over the next two-plus rounds, Nery went down once more from a right hand as his back was against the ropes.

Griffin had no reason to count as Nery sat on the canvas. He was done. Inoue had the 16th knockout in his last 17 fights.

It appears that unbeaten contender Sam Goodman might be Inoue’s next opponent. The Australian, Inoue’s mandatory challenger, was in the ring after the fight and called out the champion.

“Look, I’ve been mandatory for over a year. Either give up the belts or fight me. Let’s get it on,” Goodman said.

Inoue said he would open negotiations with Goodman for a fight in September.

Story originally appeared on Boxing Junkie