The first really serious test for Naoya Inoue came in his 4th fight when he took on the then Japanese Light Flyweight champion Ryoichi Taguchi and was forced to work incredibly hard to claim the first title of his professional career.
The bout, which took place on August 25th 2013, was Taguchi's 21st as a professional, he entered as the Japanese champion and as a world ranked fighter but for Inoue he was a stepping stone, an opponent in his way on his journey to greatness. What we saw was a bout with both men looking to make a point. Taguchi was trying to say that he was one of the best in Japan and that he deserved a world title fight. Inoue on the other hand was tryign to prove that he deserved the hype and that he really was destined for great things.
What we ended up getting was a very good bout that saw Inoue getting pushed very hard and having several flaws exposed though having the strength and ability to adapt and defeat Taguchi who proved his toughness despite the loss.
If you've not managed to see this fight before it's really worth a watch just to see a fighter giving Inoue problems and just to see an opponent who could take Inoue's power and fight back.