A little more than 2 weeks ago we reported a story from Thailand suggesting that WBO Super Flyweight champion Naoya Inoue (10-0, 8) [井上 尚弥] was being linked to a September 4th bout against Thailand's Petchbarngborn Kokietgym (38-7-1, 18) [เพชรบางบอน ก่อเกียรติยิม]. Today that story was confirmed with a press conference announce that Inoue's 3rd defense would be against the experienced Thai, and would indeed take place on September 4th.
The bout will be staged at the Sky Arena in Zama, not in Tokyo as previously reported, but will continue Inoue's relationship with Fuji TV who will air the bout.
Whilst the bout isn't a big fight or anything like that, at least compared to what fans had been hoping for, it is interestingly his first fight in Kanagawa in more than 3 years, with his last one being his win over Ryoichi Taguchi back in August 2013. When he won the Japanese title.
For Inoue the bout will be the third defense of the world title he won back in late 2014, when he blitzed Omar Andres Narvaez in what has been his stand out performance so far. From the comments at the press conference he will remain at the weight until next spring at the earliest with his team targeting the winner of the recently announced WBC Super Flyweight title fight between Carlos Cuadras and Roman Gonzalez.
As for the the Thai, is seems Petchbarngborn has landed on his feet somewhat after seeing a bout with Paul Butler fall through after Butler failed to make weight. The Thai was expected to be beaten by Butler so this really is his lucky day, and further frustration for Butler and his promoter Frank Warren, who had been talking about getting a WBO world title shot.
Patchbarngborn has previously fought in Japan 5 times. Sadly he is 1-4 in the country with defeats to Seizo Kono, Katsuya Matsuura, Kohei Kono and Sho Ishida. He is however on a 16 fight winning streak since losing to Ishida in September 2013. As with know with Thai's however, that 16 fight winning run hasn't come against many fighters of note and isn't the most impressive streak when you look at who he has been beating.
It's a disappointing fight in many ways for Inoue but the card is said to be an important one with Inoue making a home coming,his brother Takuma Inoue (7-0, 2) [井上 拓真] in a notable bout and the debut of 2012 Olympian Satoshi Shimizu [清水 聡]. Strangely however their was no news about IBF Light Flyweight champion Akira Yaegashi (24-5, 12) [八重樫 東] .
Naoya Inoue's ring return rumoured for September 4th!
News! We try and give you the most interesting news stories from the Asian boxing world!