Earlier this week fight fans at the Korakuen Hall saw unbeaten Japanese youngster Takuma Inoue (12-0, 3) [井上 拓真] score his most significant win to date, taking a decision over Mark John Yap (29-13, 14) to become one of two mandatory challengers for the next WBC Bantamweight champion.
Despite the contest with Yap only taking place on Tuesday Inoue has already returned to the gym with the intention of getting prepared to face southpaw opponents.
The reason for Inoue wanting to prepare to face southpaws is that now matter who he faces for the WBC Bantamweight title next year, it's almost certainly going to be a southpaw.
The WBC Bantamweight title will be fought for in October between Frenchman Nordine Oubaali (14-0, 11) and American Rau'shee Warren (16-2-0-1, 4). The winner of that bout will then be mandated to defend the title against unbeaten Thai Petch Sor Chitpattana (47-0, 32) [เพชร ซีพีเฟรชมาร์ท] in the first mandatory defense. The winner of that little 3 man series will then have to defend the title against Inoue.
It should be noted that Takuma's older brother Naoya Inoue (16-0, 14) [井上 尚弥] is also preparing to face a southpaw at the moment, as he's set to face Juan Carlos Payano (20-1, 9) in October. It would seem logical for two Inoue's to both the same fighters that come over to prepare for southpaws, which may also explain why Takuma has already returned to the gym. Staying in shape ahead of sparring with the people the Ohashi gym were bringing over for Naoya's bout.
(Image courtesy of Nikkan Sports)
Earlier today fight fans in Tokyo had the chance to see the unbeaten Japanese Takuma Inoue (12-0, 3) [井上 拓真] score his most significant win to date, coming out with a victory over Mark John Yap (29-13, 14) in a WBC Bantamweight world title eliminator.
That win doesn't mean Inoue is next for the WBC title. In fact the next bout for the vacant title will see Nordine Oubaali (14-0, 11) face off with Rau'shee Warren (16-2-0-1, 4) in October.
Inoue isn't even the mandatory for the winner of that bout. Instead the winner of the title will have to make a mandatory defense against unbeaten Thai Petch Sor Chitpattana (47-0, 32) [เพชร ซีพีเฟรชมาร์ท] before Inoue gets his crack. Essentially the fight today was to set up the second mandatory for the new champion.
On paper that doesn't seem great for Inoue, who will have to wait for a shot, however it seems his promoter Hideyuki Ohashi has got big plans and has worked that delay into his plans.
After Inoue's win today Mr Ohashi told the press that he wanted to have a monopoly on the Bantamweight titles. In fact he wanted that monopoly to be between Takuma and his older brother Naoya Inoue (16-0, 14) [井上 尚弥] who is taking part in the World Boxing Super Series (WBSS). That tournament could see Naoya unifying the WBA, WBO and IBF titles and Ohashi suggested that ideally Naoya's WBSS final could be held on the same show Takuma's eventual world title shot. After all both will take place in 2019.
It is obviously an "ideal situation" to get both those bouts on the same show and to hold a super event for the Inoue brothers. It is however a long way off, and seems to be more of a rough plan for Ohashi rather than something set in stone. If it does come off however it would be something very special for Japanese boxing, and the Bantamweight division. Though sadly it would mean that we probably wouldn't be set for an undisputed champion as the two Inoue's wouldn't fight each other, unlike the Eguchi brothers, Katsuaki Eguchi and Kusuo Eguchi, who battled for the Japanese Minimumweight title in 1993.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
Earlier today at the Korakuen Hall fight fans had the chance to see a WBC Bantamweight world title eliminator, setting the second mandatory challenged for the currently vacant green and gold belt. More about that later.
The bout in question saw unbeaten Japanese fighter Takuma Inoue (12-0, 3) [井上 拓真] face off with the in form OPBF Bantamweight champion Mark John Yap (29-13, 14) in what looked like a mismatch on paper, but promised a lot for fans aware of Yap's ability.
Inoue, the younger brother of Japanese sensation Naoya Inoue [井上 尚弥], got off to a good start by winning by taking the early lead in the first 2 rounds. Despite winning those they weren't clear cut and Yap was certainly having moments in them, with one judge giving him round 1. The moments for Yap grew in rounds 3 and 4 with the judges scoring his work highly, and making things interesting when the open scoring kicked in after round 4. By then the judges had the bout 38-38, twice, and 39-37 in favour of Inoue.
The younger man struck hard in round 5, when he dropped Yap with a left hook. It was only a flash knockdown, but it was enough to secure a 10-8 round for Inoue, who built on that success during the middle rounds to be in a relative comfortably lead when the open scoring was announced after 8 rounds, leading 78-73, twice, and 77-74.
Yap knew he was going to need a big finish to the fight. He managed to start fast, clearly winning round 9, in what was his best round of the fight. From then though Inoue was his equal, using his foot work and left hook brilliantly. Yap brought the heat, but couldn't quite manage to keep up with the smart boxing of Inoue, or his foot speed.
The final rounds saw 2 judges actually scoring the last 3 to the Ohashi man whilst the other judge, Cathy Leonard, scored all 3 final rounds to Yap, making her scored incredibly close at the end of the bout.
The final scored were 117-110, 116-111 and 114-113.
As mentioned above Inoue is now the second mandatory to the WBC Bantamweight title. The full situation, according to Inoue's promoter Hideyuki Ohashi, is that Nordine Oubaali (14-0, 11) will face off with Rau'shee Warren (16-2-0-1, 4) for the vacant title in October. The winner of that will then be mandated to make their first defense against unbeaten Thai Petch Sor Chitpattana (47-0, 32) [เพชร ซีพีเฟรชมาร์ท]. The winner of that bout will then face Takuma in a mandatory defense next year.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
Tomorrow the Ohashi gym put on their next show, with the headline bout of the card being a WBC Bantamweight title eliminator between Takuma Inoue (11-0, 3) [井上 拓真] and Mark John Yap (29-12, 14). According to our sources the winner becomes the second mandatory for the WBC Bantamweight title when it finally gets a new champion in October.
On paper the bout is a really interesting one. For Inoue it's a big step up in class, to take on a world ranked Bantamweight, whilst Yap will be taking on his best opponent probably since he fought Ryosuke Iwasa back in 2013. For both men it's a must win contest, and the reward for a win is huge.
Despite being regarded as a competitive contest by many, the Polish bookies view the bout as a near mismatch.
Inoue, the younger brother of Naoya Inoue, is the favourite at 1.18 (9/50 using factional odds or -555 using American odds) whilst Yap is available at 3.8 (14/5 or +280), making him a very attractive under-dog.
The Polish also list an length of bout market, with the spread set at 8.5 rounds. The over is priced at 1.30 (3/10 or -333) whilst the under is 2.9 (19/10 or +190).
Related- Takuma Inoue and Mark John Yap clash in WBC Eliminator!
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Tomorrow fight fans at the Korakuen Hall will get the chance to see a WBC Bantamweight title eliminator, as the unbeaten Takuma Inoue (11-0, 3) [井上 拓真] takes on OPBF champion Mark John Yap (29-12, 14).
Today the two men involved in that bout took part in their weigh in for the contest, and both looked in incredible shape for the contest at today's weigh in, though that was to be expected knowing the two fighters involved.
Yap weighed in bang on the 118lb limit for the contest and looked incredible. He stated that Inoue was strong, but that he was stronger, and coming in to this he is in the form of his career,having won 10 in a row and claimed the OPBF Bantamweight title, which he has defended several times whilst climbing into the WBC world rankings.
Inoue was also on the limit and looked equally as good as Yap, whilst showing off a new hair style, with green dye running through his hair to match up with the colour of the WBC. He stated that he hadn't taken special countermeasures to prepare for Yap, instead he concentrated on his strengths and it's clear that he believes in himself, and his skills for this bout.
Sadly for those outside of the Korakuen Hall the bout won't be televised until the weekend.
(Image courtesy of boxingnws.jp)
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