We all know that it was only a few weeks ago that Japanese sensation Naoya Inoue (6-0, 5) won the WBC Light Flyweight world title but he's been back in the gym for several weeks and he's actually found some new sparring partners as he prepares for the first defence of his belt.
The biggest, in terms of size, of those sparring partners has been the much touted Japanese Super Bantamweight prospect Naoto Uebayashi (5-0-1, 3). Uebayashi would been significantly bigger than Inoue but apparently the Japanese superstar managed to cope with the bigger man and seemed to even hint that he could well end up at fighting at a similar weight himself somewhere down the line.
Although Uebayashi is a talented fighter himself he's also inexperience suggesting that he may not make a perfect sparring partner. Inoue and his team seemed to know that and have invited in some top Filipino's for gym. One of those men is Rocky Fuentes (35-7-2, 20) a top level Flyweight who fought Amnat Ruenroeng for the IBF Flyweight title earlier this year. Sparring with someone like Fuentes, who is experienced, world class and still at the top of his game will be brilliant to help Inoue improve.
Another of the Filipino's being invited by Inoue ad his team is former WBC and Linear Flyweight champion Sonny Boy Jaro (36-13-5, 26) who would like give Inoue some truly impressive sparring work. Like Inoue, Jaro is hard headed fighter, he comes for a fight and has criminally under-rated power and is likely to have show Inoue a few veteran tricks in some sessions that would likely be better than some world title fights.
Although no opponent has yet been named for Inoue's next fight we've reason to believe it will be a WBC Light Flyweight title defence in either August or September before he vacates and moves either to Flyweight or Super Flyweight either at the end of this year or early next year. With top level sparring there really could be no equal for Inoue who looks like he's improving a lot between fights.
(Image courtesy of Ohashi Gym)
News! We try and give you the most interesting news stories from the Asian boxing world!