Back in November reports started to circulate that WBO Light Middleweight champion Jaime Munguia (31-0, 26) would be making his next world title defense against unbeaten Japanese fighter Takeshi Inoue (13-0-1, 7) [井上 岳志] in January.
Today those reports were confirmed with Inoue, and his team at World Sports Boxing , holding a press conference to announce the bout.
The fight will take place on January 26th in Texas and will see Inoue fighting outside of Asia for the first time, and only his second bout outside of Japan.
Originally the plan had been for Inoue to face Julian Williams in an IBF final eliminator, but the bout kept failing to materialise due to one issue or another. As a result Inoue's attention turned to the WBO champion. Sadly Inoue hasn't fought since April, when he beat Yuki Nonaka, though he has been busy training since during that time and seems to feel like he has improved since he was last in the ring.
As for the champion this will be his third defense, and and amazing his 6th bout in 12 months, with the Mexican really coming into his own in 2018. At 22 years old he is one of the best young fighters in the sport and is expected to be one of the next faces of Mexican boxing.
As previously suggested this bout is likely to be on a card that also features WBA "regular" Featherweight champion Jesus M Rojas (26-2-2-1, 19) defending his title against Chinese challenger Can Xu (15-2, 2) [徐灿] in a card that has major Asian interest.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
According to ESPN's excellent Salvador Rodríguez a deal between WBO Light Middleweight champion Jaime Munguia (31-0, 26) and unbeaten Japanese fighter Takeshi Inoue (13-0-1, 7) [井上 岳志] is done, with the final think to sort being a venue.
In an article on espn.com.mx the bout is set to take place on January 26th in either Texas or California, and that Munguia has been preparing for Inoue for some time, with the fighter suggesting he is familiar with Inoue's style and knows that Japanese fighters give their all.
The bout would be Munguia's 3rd defense of the title, which he took from Sadam Ali earlier this year, and he would be looking to make a mandatory against Dennis Hogan later in the year. For Inoue the bout would be his first at world level, and end what has been a thoroughly frustrating year for the fighter and his team, who seemed to have been locked in a continual waiting game for an IBF eliminator against Julian Williams (25-1-1-1, 15). Sadly though for Inoue all the moment he went into 2018 with, following an outstanding 2017, has now been lost. On the other hand Munguia has really built up his reputation this year, going 5-0 (4) and announcing on the world stage.
Although the article suggests Texas or California, the suggestion from other sources is that it's going to be a lock for Texas as part of a card that will also feature the previously reported bout between WBA "regular" Featherweight champion Jesus M Rojas (26-2-2-1, 19) and Chinese challenger Can Xu (15-2, 2) [徐灿]. If that's right then we'd be having a double header, with Asian interest, in the US.
Fore those wanting to read the ESPN story it's here, in Spanish.
Can Xu to fight for WBA "regular" title in January!
It's fair to say that 2018 has not been a great year for Japan's Takeshi Inoue (13-0-1, 7) [井上 岳志], who earned the IBF #2 Light Middleweight ranking with a decision win against countryman Yuki Nonaka [野中 悠樹] in April but hasn't fought since. A stark difference to his activity in 2017 when he fought 4 times.
Sadly that lack of activity appears to have been caused by issues arranging an IBF final eliminator with American fighter Julian Williams (25-1-1-1, 15), a bout what was seemingly scheduled to take place on August 4th, in "October" and on November 10th.
Whatever the reason for a deal not being made with Williams it's certainly slowed Inoue's career and essentially put him on the back burner.
Since the start of 2018 we have seen several fighters in the Light Middleweight division really make a name for themselves. None have managed to do that more than Mexican sensation Jaime Munguia (31-0, 26), who has risen from obscurity to being one of the most must watch fighters on the planet in the space of a year. His year has seen him score 5 wins this year, 4 by stoppage, claim the WBO Light Middleweight title and record 2 defenses of the belt.
Munguia is looking to fight again this year, in December, and the man who has been strongly linked to is Inoue.
Various sources, including the always reliable Salvador Rodríguez of ESPN, are now reporting that the bout is likely and will probably take place on December 8th or December 15th. It would be a huge ask for Inoue, but would give him great exposure after what has surely been a frustrating year for the Japanese fighter. Munguia would clearly be favoured over Inoue but the Japanese fighter really would have nothing to lose by taking on the rising Mexican star.
(Image courtesy of World Sport Boxing)
Over the weekend the World Sport Boxing Gym announced some really interesting things as they held a press conference in their new gym building, which really is a state of the art building which is just a short walk from the Takenotsuka train Station.
The new building, which is which is 7 stories and feature's 2 rings, a Jacuzzi, a sauna, domitories and several floors to work out, looks to have been set up as a statement of intent by the gym, who also updated their website.
The press conference wasn't just to announce the new gym building, but also to announce the future for several of their fighters.
Among those fighters was Light Middleweight hopeful Takeshi Inoue (13-0-1, 7) [井上 岳志], who is said to be preparing for an IBF world title eliminator with Julian Williams (25-1-1-1, 15) There is no set date for the bout but it does seem like an agreement has been made for Inoue to travel to face Williams and take a huge step towards getting a world title fight.
Another fighter who's future was mentioned was Kazuto Takesako (9-0, 9) [竹迫司登], who is now planning his first defense for November. There was no name mentioned for Takesako, but there are some interesting domestic options, including a unification bout with WBO Asia Pacific and OPBF champion Yasuyuki Akiyama (12-7-1, 9) [秋山泰幸].
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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