This past weekend Naoya Inoue (18-0, 16) [井上 尚弥] scored his latest win, stopping Puerto Rican fighter Emmanuel Rodriguez (19-1, 12) in 2 rounds, to add the IBF Bantamweight title to his growing collection of belts. Following that he has seen his profile rise massively and various interviews being done.
Among the multitude of stories about Inoue to have come out since his win is that he is targeting an eventual move up to Featherweight, in an attempt to become a 5 weight champion before his career is over.
This has been reported on Nikkan Sports, who have quoted Inoue as suggesting he is looking to ultimately become a 5-weight champion before retiring, with Featherweight being the highest he is expected to go. If he managed that then he would match the likes of Tommy Hearns, Sugar Ray Leonard, Oscar De La Hoya and Floyd Mayweather Jr, with only Manny Pacquiao winning titles over more divisions.
The idea of the Featherweight division has long been seen as the most likely division where Inoue finishes his career, with his father and trainer Shingo mentioning it a few years ago and his body not really being suited to going any higher, given his reach, height and body type.
Nikkan sports also reported that Inoue is open to facing the controversial Luis Nery (29-0, 23), despite Nery being given an indefinite ban from fighting in Japan.
Although he's scored a huge win on Saturday Inoue is expected to get back to training in the very near future, with his father suggesting they start running when Inoue returns to Japan, tomorrow!
A few weeks ago MTK Global announced they would be doing a show in Kazakhstan to celebrate Capital City Day. At the time little was known about the show, other than that it would take place on July 6th in Kazakhstan.
Today we got a burst of information about the card, and whilst it left us with a lot of questions that are unanswered it did give us some answers.
Firstly the card will take place in the Kazakh capital of Nur-Sultan, formerly known as Astana, and will feature not only Kazakh fighters but others from the MTK Global stable.
In regards to Kazakh fighters on the card the most notable is Zhankosh Turarov (22-0, 15) [Жанкош Тураров], who hasn't fought since September 2017 and will be looking to make a successful return following injury woes. Others include Viktor Kotochigov (9-0, 4) [Виктор Коточигов], who made his MTK debut earlier this year.
Whilst the Kazakh fighters will be the local draw the big international attraction will be WBC Bantamweight champion Nordine Oubaali (15-0, 11), who will be making his first defense of the title he won earlier this year. His opponent hasn't yet been announced, though their will be interest in this bout from Japan with Takuma Inoue (13-0, 3) [井上 拓真] set to face the winner later in the year.
Interestingly at the weekend Oubaali was rumoured to be heading to Morroco to defend the title, but him appearing on this show is better yet, given it will have ESPN and IflTV showing it, giving a sizable audience for the bout, and it also gives the card a credible draw at the top level. It is worth noting however, that he hasn't had his opponent for the show announced, yet. There are several really interesting options in the WBC rankings, and hopefully he will face one of the better contenders, rather than just facing the easiest or cheapest foe.
This past Saturday Naoya Inoue (18-0, 16) [井上 尚弥] claimed the IBF Bantamweight title abnd booked his place in the WBSS final with a second round TKO win over Puerto Rican Emmanuel Rodriguez (19-1, 12).
The bout was shown in Japan via 2 different methods. Firstly the bout was shown live on WOWOW at around 5am, not a great time for a TV audience and given that WOWOW is a subscription service the potential audience is limited. The figures for this airing haven't been revealed, though we can't ever recall WOWOW figures being reported in the Japanese press anyway.
The bout was then shown on tape delay during prime time on Sunday night on Fuji TV, Inoue's usual broadcaster. Fuji, for those unaware, is a terrestrial channel, free to air in the Kanto region, with affiliate across the country, such as Kansai TV. The figures have been reported for this broadcast are truly astonishing, especially for a tape broadcast that was available online and had had the result spoiled.
In Kanto, where over 43,000,000 million people live, the audience share is a 10.3%. By raw numbers that's big, and was an increase of 4.8% from the average of the last 4 weeks in the same time slot. That's almost doubling the average that Fuji are getting for that particular slot.
Things were even more impressive in Kansai, the second largest region where around 23,000,000 people live. Here the broadcast drew 13.5% of the audience a figure up 8.4% on the average of the last 4 weeks, almost tripling the previous few weeks numbers.
The figures for the rest of the country haven't been reported yet, but there's a very, very good chance that this bout broke an audience of 10,000,000 viewers, a staggering number for a tape delay broadcast where fans who were in a rush to watch could have found the bout in full online.
According to sources these were the average numbers as well, not the peak viewership leaving real questions as to just how many people tuned in at some point during the broadcast.
With rumours being that his WBSS final against Nonito Donaire (40-5, 26) could be staged at the Kyocera Dome Osaka, a stadium that can hold well over 40,000 for events, it's clear the Monster is a star with a growing fan base in Japan, as well as globally, and if his popularity continues to grow as it has done, there may be no option but to let him headline a Tokyo Dome show in the future.
On Saturday night in Glasgow we saw Japanese sensation Naoya Inoue (18-0, 16) [井上 尚弥] further enhance his reputation as one of the sports premier fighters as he won his WBSS semi-final bout against Emmanuel Rodriguez (19-1, 12) in 2 rounds. With that win Inoue booked himself in the WBSS final, where he will meet Filipino legend Nonito Donaire (40-5, 26).
In the wake of Inoue's win there has been a lot of speculation in regards to the when and where of that bout.
In Japan on Monday morning certain sources reported that the Kyocera Dome Osaka is being seen as a potential venue for the bout.
The venue might not be as well known as the Tokyo Dome but is still a large venue and is one of the biggest sporting venues in Japan. It's primarily used as a baseball stadium and can hold between 36,000 and 45,000, depending on it's use. Not only is it a large stadium but it's also a venue with excellent transport links and has previously held a boxing event before, albeit back in 1999 when Joichiro Tatsuyoshi challenged the then WBC Bantamweight Veeraphol Sahaprom in their second meeting, with Tatsuyoshi attempting to reclaim the title he had lost to Veeraphol the previous year.
Whilst the venue certainly hasn't been set yet it is interesting that the venue previously known as the "Osaka Dome" is already being linked to the bout, showing that they are expecting a huge number of fans hoping to see the bout. It's worth noting that Inoue's bout with Rodriguez was at the SSE Hydro, which holds 13,000, and although Inoue wasn't the main event for the card there was a sizable contingent of Japanese travelling fans, and it would seem almost certain that they could sell out the Kyocera dome for the bout with Donaire.
Inoue and Taylor advance to the finals after Monster night in Glasgow
‘Monster’ Naoya Inoue stops IBF champ Emmanuel Rodriguez to set up Nonito Donaire showdown and Josh Taylor dropped Ivan Baranchyk twice on his way to winning the IBF world title and booking his place in the WBSS final.
Japan's phenomenon Naoya Inoue needed just two rounds to blast his way past Puerto Rico’s Emmanuel Rodriguez in the World Boxing Super Series bantamweight semi-final at The SSE Hydro in Glasgow.
The ‘Monster’ lived up to his reputation and added the IBF title and Ring belt to his WBA strap after sending Rodriguez to the canvas three times in the second round.
“I always felt like I could knock him out and that’s what I fought for,” said Inoue.
His mind-blowing performance sets up a clash with the 'Filipino Flash' Nonito Donaire in the WBSS bantamweight final.
“Nonito Donaire is a terrific fighter. He can box well, he can punch well. I'm confident I will beat him, although I’m not quite sure of my strategy just yet.”
“It was an incredible fight,” said Donaire on Inoue’s show. “I am looking forward to the final, this is the type of fight that I wanna be in. I always seek to fight the best of the best. The one with the best game plan wins the final.“
Scotland’s ‘Tartan Tornado' Josh Taylor earned his first world title after producing a career-best performance against the tough Belarusian, ‘The Beast’ Baranchyk, and the unanimous decision verdict via scores of 117-109 and two times 115-111 means he is on to face WBA titleholder Regis Prograis in the super-lightweight final of the WBSS.
“I took more risks than I should have,” said Taylor. “And I could have made it easier on myself. If I had more time in the sixth round I would have stopped him. It was easy peasy.
“I'm so delighted of winning a world title and I can't wait for the final now. I think I'm the best, Regis Prograis thinks he is the best. I am confident of going all the way.”
“It was an excellent fight,” said Prograis, who was watching from ringside. “But I am the best in the division and I will beat Taylor and take home the Ali Trophy.”
The WBSS returns on June 15 with a sensational doubleheader at the Arena Riga in Riga, Latvia: Mairis Briedis vs Krzysztof Glowacki and Yunier Dorticos vs Andrew Tabiti for spots in the cruiserweight final.
WBSS Season 2 Semi-Finals:
27 April - Cajundome, Lafayette, LA, USA
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