Inoue retains WBO super flyweight title with KO of Rodriguez

Japanese champion Naoya Inoue, left, fights with Ricardo Rodriguez in the first round of their WBO super flyweight boxing world title match in Tokyo, Sunday, May 21, 2017. Inoue knocked out Rodriguez in the third round. (AP Photo/Toru Takahashi)

Naoya Inoue of Japan retained his WBO super flyweight title for a fifth time on Sunday with a knockout of Ricardo Rodriguez of the United States in the third round

TOKYO — Naoya Inoue of Japan retained his WBO super flyweight title for a fifth time on Sunday with a third-round knockout of Ricardo Rodriguez of the United States.

Inoue dominated from the outset and sent Rodriguez to the canvas with a left to the jaw before the referee called the bout after 1 minute, 8 seconds in the third round.

Inoue improved to 13-0-0 with 11 knockouts while Rodriguez fell to 16-4-0.

"To be honest, I'm relieved," Inoue said. "There is nothing scarier than fighting in a bout you are expected to win but I was prepared for it. "

On the undercard, Japan's Akira Yaegashi suffered a first-round technical knockout and surrendered his IBF light flyweight belt to interim champ Milan Melindo of the Philippines.

Yaegashi hit the canvas twice before the fight was stopped when Melindo floored him for a third time with a solid right.

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