On September 9th we'll see WBO Super Flyweight champion Naoya Inoue make his US debut, as he defends his title on the stacked "Superfly" card. Today fans in Japan had the chance to see his younger brother Takuma Inoue (9-0, 2) [井上 拓真] take part in a thriller against 4-time world title challenger Hiroyuki Kudaka (25-17-1, 11) [久高寛之].
The bout, Inoue's first in almost a year, was set to be a tough return to the ring following a nasty injury last year, though surprisingly turned out to be one of the fights of the month.
Despite the lay off coming into this fight Inoue looked crisp and sharp straight away. He used his movement and power brilliantly from the opening moments. The experienced Kudaka had, of course, seen it all before and looked to turn things around in the second round and fight began to take on a life of it's own.
With Kudaka looking to get inside and force a war Inoue had to respond, and respond he did as he fought fire with fire and we ended up getting a fierce and hard fought bout that saw Kudaka suffer a huge cut over his left eye. The action was thrilling and the fans rightfully applauded the two men who had given them a real show.
Despite the effort from Kudaka, previously known as Hiroyuki Hisataka, it was clear he had come off second best, and that was shown on all three cards, which favoured Inoue by scores of 98-92, 98-93 and 97-94.
After the bout Inoue made itclear he now wanted a world title fight, something his injury last year prevented him from getting at the end of 2017, whilst sadly a bout between Kudaka and Go Onaga (28-3-3, 19) [翁長 吾央], which was scheduled for November 11th, is now expected to be delayed due to Kudaka's cut.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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