Over the past 2 days we've put up our award articles for the “2014 Fighter of the Year” and the “2014 Prospect of the Year”. Now we're onto our third award, the “2014 Trainer of the Year”.
For us there was a clear winner in this category who left all other contenders in his dust. That was the completely unheralded Shingo Inoue who has been all but ignored by the international publications who have, generally, refused to even include him in their short list or notable runners up, instead preferring to mention trainers like Freddie Roach.
Mr Inoue, the trainer for both of his sons, Naoya Inoue (8-0, 7) and Takuma Inoue (4-0, 1), has had a year which has really put him on the boxing map and has been a worthy winner of the “Eddie Townsend Award” in Japan despite the clear snub by the international press.
Mr Inoue's year began with his charges being 5-0 (4) and 1-0. Both of them were touted, very highly, but no one would have expected the year they have had between them.
The first bout of the year for Mr Inoue's fighters saw his youngest son, the then 18 year old, Takuma Inoue put on a masterclass against the world ranked Fahlan Sakkreerin Jr in April. Sakkreerin had shocked the boxing world at the end of 2013 by stopping Ryo Miyazaki but was no match for the speed or skill of Takuma who nearly shut him out in a sensational performance. Soon afterwards his other charge, Noaya, stopped the well established Adrian Hernandez to claim the WBC Light Flyweight title.
We saw his sons return to the ring in September. On that show we saw Takuma score a second round blow out against Thailand's Chanachai Sor Siamchai whilst Naoya battered Samartlek Kokietgym over 11 rounds to record his first defense of the WBC world title. On paper these were lesser wins though though kept his fighters ticking over on a show headlined by Flyweight super fight between Roman Gonzalez and Akira Yaegashi.
To end the year we saw Mr Inoue's fighters both score their best wins to date. The first of those saw Takuma dominate former world title challenger Nestor Daniel Narvaes en route to taking a very clear 8 round win, it was an outstanding win a brilliant performance. A few hours later we saw Naoya, who had climbed 2 weight classes, totally dismantle Omar Andres Narvaez in what was a clinical beat down of a well established world champion. The win for Naoya not only saw him climbing 2 weight classes but also look damned good at his new weight, a weight that his father and trainer seemed to suggest was his natural weight.
Whilst Mr Inoue may have been snubbed in the west we can't help but feel he was the run away winner here and if his success continues into next year he may well find himself in very much demand by the end of the year.
(Image of Shingo, Naoya, Takuma and Hideyuki Ohashi, courtesy of Naoya Inoue's blog)
When we have some free time we're hoping to add a series of fun articles to the site. Hopefully these will be enjoyable little short features