Earlier today the Inoue clan began their latest tough training camp in Atami ahead of key fight in the months.
The camp is primarily to prepare Takuma Inoue (12-0, 3) [井上 拓真] for his December 30th contest against unbeaten Thai Petch Sor Chitpattana (48-0, 33) [เพชร ซีพีเฟรชมาร์ท] for the WBC "interim" Bantamweight title.
Whilst Takuma is the focus of the camp , it also includes WBA "Regular" Bantamweight champion Naoya Inoue (17-0, 15) [井上 尚弥], who is expected back in the ring in Spring for his WBSS Semi-final against Emmanuel Rodriguez (19-0, 12) and Koki Inoue (12-0, 10) [浩樹井上], who will get a Japanese title fight in early 2019.
The camp has seen them doing general fitness work, including runs and beach dashes, with the camp expected to be a tough one to help them men all get into great physical condition as we head towards the end of the year.
After the camp has ended Takuma will return to full scale practice, and will begin to really focus on preparing for Petch, and his style. To do that he has asked to spar with former IBF Super Bantamweight champion Ryosuke Iwasa (25-3, 16) [岩佐 亮佑], to get experience of being in the ring with a long, rangy southpaw.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
This past weekend we saw Naoya Inoue [井上 尚弥] score a sensational stoppage win over Juan Carlos Payano to retain the WBA "interim" Bantamweight title. Today we saw his cousin, Koki Inoue (12-0, 10) [浩樹井上] secure his first title bout, as he defeated Marcus Smith (6-1-1, 6) in a Japanese title eliminator.
The bout promised a lot on paper, with two unbeaten punchers facing off with a big reward. Sadly however the bout rarely came alive and ended up being rather underwhelming.
Through much of the bout it seemed like Inoue wanted to get rounds in, and fought almost solely off the back foot, making Smith miss but never really going out to punish him. It seemed like Inoue was happier to experiment and show off his movement. Despite not being exciting Inoue did look sharp, defensively intelligent and managed to land the cleaner, sharper punches.
In round 4 Smith had some better success and claimed his first round as he managed to get through the guard of Inoue and cut the distance well. Smith also had success in round 5, as Inoue began to come forward with little real success. In round 6 however Inoue landed a dynamite left hand that dropped Smith hard, sadly for Inoue the shot came so close to the bell he couldn't jump on the clearly hurt Smith.
Sadly for Inoue the opportunity to see off Smith was killed by the bell to end round 6, and the final two rounds saw some back and forth, but little real intensity from Inoue, who seemed happier to test his defense and stamina, rather than go for the finish. By then however the win was in the bag, and the judges all scored the bout to Inoue with scores of 78-73, 77-74 and 77-75.
After the bout Inoue explained that the less than thrilling performance had been a result of several injuries he had taken into the bout, including an injury to his right elbow and his left foot. Given those issues his performance makes sense, but certainly wasn't exciting. He admitted that he was relieved to have gotten the chance to fight for a Japanese title, which this win assures him of, but admitted that his focus was now on healing.
Smith seemed to suggest there was no real power on Inoue's shots, but that his sharpness and technical ability was simply too good.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Tomorrow there will be 6 Japanese title eliminators, with the winners of those 6 bouts getting a title fight next year at the Champion Carnival.
The standout bout will take place at 140lbs and will see the unbeaten pairing of Koki Inoue (11-0, 10) [浩樹井上] and Marcus Smith (6-0-1, 6) fighting in what looks like a sure fire shoot out.
Today the two fighters took part in their weigh in and both fighters made weight whilst looking in great shape for the biggest bout of their carer's so far.
Inoue, the cousin of Naoya Inoue, made the 140lb exactly and looked in great shape. He stated that he wanted to use his boxing skills and speed to defeat the unbeaten Smith, who is an American born Japanese fighter.
Originally Smith was slightly over the limit, by around .25lbs, but he would make weight successfully when he had his second attempt to make weight, weighing in at exactly 140lbs.
Smith, who won the Rookie of the Year last year, sounded incredibly confident of not just beating Inoue but stopping him to progress to the Japanese title fight next year.
For fans interested in watching this one, but can't make it to the Korakuen Hall, the bout will be live on the Boxingraise service, and it really does look like one worth tuning into, with 5 other very good title eliminator bouts.
Related- Inoue and Smith clash in Japanese title eliminator!
(Images courtesy of boxmob.jp)
On October 12th Japanese fight fans at the Korakuen Hall will get an incredible card featuring 6 Japanese challenger decision bouts, including a Super Bantamweight bout between Mugicha Nakagawa (23-5-1, 14) [武田勇太] and Naoya Okamoto (13-6-1, 6) [岡本直也] and a Light Welterweight contest between Koki Inoue (11-0, 10) [浩樹井上] and Marcus Smith (6-0-1, 6).
Thankfully this show isn't just limited to fight fans at the Korakuen Hall with the online streaming and video on demand service Boxingraise announcing they will be broadcasting the show live over their service, for all subscribers.
The winners of the 6 bouts will advance to the 2019 Champion Carnival early next year, meaning they will fight for Japanese titles, showing the significance of the card, so to get the entire show live over Boxingraise is a real unexpected treat and a chance to get a look at future title challengers and leading domestic contenders.
It's worth noting Boxingraise are currently offer a free 1 month trial to new subscribers, so the timing of this show couldn't be at a better time and it really worth giving the trial a shot, especially with the addition of at least 7 other on demand shows being added in October!
For those interested in the trial click here.
Earlier today it was revealed that Japanese Light Welterweight champion Valentine Hosokawa (23-6-3, 10) [細川バレンタイン] will be making his next defense of the title on December 1st at the Korakuen Hall. His opponent will be the experienced Takashi Inagaki (20-17-2, 9) [稲垣孝].
The champion, from the Kadoebi Boxing Gym, will be making his second defense following a brilliant and action packed mandatory defense earlier this year against Vladimir Baez, aka Destino Japan. At the age of 37 Hosokawa is an older fighter, but appears to be getting with age.
Inagaki, a 32 year old from the Flash Akabane gym, will be getting his first title fight, and will be regarded as the clear under-dog, having lost his last 2 and 3 of his last 6. Despite his under-dog status he does tend to provide good action fights and this could be a great way to kick December off.
The winner of this will be mandated to face the winner of the October 12th bout between Koki Inoue (11-0, 10) [浩樹井上] and Marcus Smith (6-0-1, 6) during the 2019 Champion Carnival.
For those wanting to watch this bout it is likely to be aired live on G+ as it's a Dynamic Glove card, and will likely be officially uploaded to youtube in the weeks following the show by Kadoebi.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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