Back in November we saw Naoya Inoue claim his biggest win to date, as he beat Nonito Donaire in the WBSS Bantamweight final. Less than a month later his cousin, Koki Inoue (15-0, 12) [浩樹井上] has scored his best win to date, and made a legitimate statement on the regional scene.
Koki Inoue was in action today at the Korakuen Hall, where he took on hard hitting Filipino Jheritz Chavez (9-4-2, 7) in an interesting looking bout for the WBO Asia Pacific Light Welterweight title.
For Inoue it was a chance to unify the belt with the Japanese title he won earlier this year whilst Chavez was looking to claim a regional title after coming incredibly close to upsetting Rikki Naito in May 2018. That bout with Naito had filled Chavez with real confidence coming into this bout, and we were expecting something very interesting.
From the off Inoue was the quicker, sharper man, but he was still cautious and seemed fully aware of the danger that Chavez posed. Chavez's success were few and far between, and when he did have them he was tied up before being able to build any momentum.
Although dangerous Chavez wasn't hugely difficult to hit, and at the very end of round 7 he was dropped hard from a huge counter left hand from Inoue. He hit the canvas incredibly hard though managed to some how get off the canvas and stagger to his feet as the referee counted him out.
With the win Inoue becomes the first man to stop Chavez, at an official time of 3:08 of round 7.
Following the bout Inoue spoke about wanting to fight for a world title next year, and the general vibe is that he will choose to vacate the Japanese title before the 2020 Champion Carnival to focus on climbing up the world rankings
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
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