On December 30th we'll see Japanese sensation Naoya Inoue (11-0, 9) [井上 尚弥] defending his WBO Super Flyweight title against compatriot Kohei Kono (32-9-1, 13) [河野 公平] in what will be Inoue's 4th defense of his belt, and his first world title bout against a fellow Japanese fighter. The bout not only serves as Inoue's next defense but also as a chance for Kono to become a 3-time world champion and to bounce back from a loss earlier this year to Luis Concepcion.
On paper it's a tough test for Inoue, but one we all expect him to pass with fly colours. In fact despite Kono being much more experienced and being a multi-time champion himself many are viewing this bout as a foregone conclusion as we slowly move towards the potential Super Flyweight super fight between the Monster and Roman "Chocolatito" Gonzalez, which seems likely to take place in 2017.
The bout is seen as such a mismatch that the bookies have Inoue priced as almost unbackable favourite. He is available from between 1/14 and 1/20, suggesting a return of around 7% to 5%. Whilst he is clearly in better shape for this bout than he was for his previous bout, against Petchbarngborn Kokietgym, it's always hard to back someone with such poor returns.
A Kono win is seen as a massive upset and bookies have priced him at between 25/2 and 7/1, offering a high return on something seen as incredibly unlikely. For Kono being the under-dog is normal but even his most ardent of supporters is unlikely to favour him here against the Monster
For those perhaps interested in the draw, or technical draw, the odds on that are between 25/1 and 28/1.
At the moment only the "To win" market is available though we suspect more markets may open up in the next day or two.
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