It's fair to say that 2014 was the year in which Naoya Inoue (8-0, 7) exploded on to the consciousness of the international boxing world. In Japan he was touted from before his debut, courtesy of his amateur pedigree, whilst in the west some hardcore fans had made a note of him and expected to see big things from him and fast. At the end of the year however he became the talk of the boxing world as he dismantled Argentinian veteran Omar Andres Narvaez (43-2-2, 23) in destructive fashion.
The win over Narvaez saw the boxing world sitting up and taking note of the Japanese Wunderkid who showed everything a fighter could want to show, and more. Not only did he impress with his sensational speed and power but also his punch selection, timing, movement and judgement of distance. It was as perfect of a performance as a fighter could have and saw him living up to his moniker of "Monster".
Yesterday, January 1st, saw Inoue taking to his personal blog to state that 2014 was a year of "Challenge" for him, with the youngster wanting challenging bouts and wanting to test himself. The bouts he had may not have challenged him quite in the way he had wanted but the things he achieved, including winning a world title in fight #6 and becoming a 2-weight world in fight #8, were challenges.
Inoue's blog entry not only stated that 2014 was a year of challenge but that 2015 is a year in which he wants to scale more heights. What these heights are going to be, are unknown for now but we are aware that there is a lot of demand to see Inoue fighting against Roman Gonzalez and that would likely be the type of challenge Inoue would enjoy, likewise we could see him fighting in unification bouts or attempting to become a 3-weight world champion in a world record pace. Whatever his choice it's fair to say the world will be taking note of this young man in 2015, he has the worlds attention and is unlikely to give it up.
(Image courtesy of Naoya Inoue's personal blog)
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