Around a week ago Naoya Inoue (20-0, 17) [井上 尚弥] arrived in the US ahead of his upcoming defense of the IBF and WBA "super" Bantamweight world titles against Michael Dasmarinas (30-2-1, 20). At the time he was accompanied by father and trainer Shingo Inoue, his brother Takuma Inoue [井上拓真] and his cousin Koki Inoue [浩樹井上].
Yesterday he was joined by the rest of his team, including promoter Hideyuki Ohashi, who will be in attendance for the fight cheering on his charge.
The promoter has joined the Inoue clan for the fight and the group have now moved into the bubble at the Virgin Hotels in Las Vegas.
(Image courtesy of Ohashi Gym)
Yesterday Hideyuki Ohashi, the head of the Ohashi Gym, announced that his unbeaten charge Andy Hiraoka (17-0, 12) [å¹³å²¡ã¢ã³ãã£] would be getting a shot at newly crowned Japanese 140lb champion Masahiro Suzuki (6-0, 4) [é´æ¨ é å¼], who defeated Daishi Nagata (15-3-2, 6) [æ°¸ç°å¤§å£«] yesterday to win the title.
In the instagram post, above, Mr Ohashi states:
"Andy Hiraoka, 8th in the IBF World Super Light Weight, who was scheduled for the match on September 9, will be nominated by Masahiro Suzuki (Kadoebi), who became the new champion yesterday, within 4 months according to the JBC rules. Please note that the match schedule may change."
Given this post it seems likely that Hiraoka's scheduled September bout will be cancelled, with him instead focusing on facing Suzuki at the earliest opportunity, and within the next 4 months. With that in mind it seems likely that we'll see the men collide in October, though no date has yet been set for the bout
Earlier today Japanese Bantamweight star Naoya Inoue (20-0, 17) [井上 尚弥] departeed from Japan ahead of his upcoming defenses of the IBF and WBA "super" Bantamweight world titles against Michael Dasmarinas (30-2-1, 20), on June 19th. At the airport he was flanked by his family, including his father and trainer Shingo Inoue, his brother Takuma Inoue [井上拓真] and his cousin Koki Inoue [浩樹井上], who are travelling over with him to help put some final touches to his preparation. The rest of his team, including promoter Hideyuki Ohashi will join the Inoue clan closer to the fight, with the plan being for themto fly out on June 16th.
Befoe leaving Japan Inoue did an interview with Japanese broadcaster WOWOW.
During the interview he explained that he would be losing the rest of his weight and relaxing over in America. It seems clear that the hard work has been done in Japan, and he explained that although he doesn't know how much sparring he did for this bout, it was more than usually, and that he was doing 6 and 8 round sessions. The focal point for those spars were tall southpaws, exactly what he'll come up against when he shares the ring with Dasmarinas.
In regards to weight, it seems there's still a few kilo's left for him to lose, but he started that there is no problem at all in making weight.
When asked about this being his fourth world title fight abroad, he spoke highly of international fans and stated that he enjoyed the atmosphere of the fans for his bouts against Antonio Nieves in the US and Emmanuel Rodrgiuez in Scotland.
Regarding this bout Inoue was pretty clear that this wouldn't got to the scorecards, and he did state he was confidence of winning, though did accept that there may be some issues with the southpaw stance and height of Dasmarinas, explaining the focus on the sparring he's had.
Notably Inoue was also very open about wanting to face recently crowned WBC champion Nonito Donaire, the man he beat in the WBSS Bantamweight final in 2019, being impressed by Donaire's win over Nordine Oiubaali a few weeks ago. Donaire, and WBO champion John Riel Casimero, still seem to be on Inoue's mind and it was clear that facing one of those two later in the year was a driving factor for victory against Dasmarinas, with Inoue desperate to add more Bantamweight titles to his collection.
(Image credit - WOWOW)
On June 19th we'll see unified Bantamweight champion Naoya Inoue (20-0, 17) [井上 尚弥] defending his WBA "Super" and IBF Bantamweight titles against Filipino fighter Michael Dasmarinas (30-2-1, 20), who enters as the IBF's mandatory challenger. Today, ahead of that bout, Inoue and promoter Hideyuki Ohashi attended a virtual press conference to talk about that contest, the future and Nonito Donaire.
It was revealed at the press conference that sparring for the bout finished on May 29th, with the focus now being on preparing final adjustments and shadow boxing. The sparring was high quality sparring with Japanese talent, such as Reiya Abe (21-3-1, 9) [阿部麗也], Ikuro Sadatsune (11-4-3, 4) [定常 育郎], Rentaro Kimura (3-0, 3) [木村蓮太朗], Jin Minamide (4-1, 3) [南出仁] and OPBF Bantamweight champion Kazuki Nakajima (10-0-1, 8) [中嶋一輝]. It should be noted that he sparred more for this bout than he usually does, and that was put down to the fact he was in better shape than usual.
It should be noted that the sparring partners, on the whole, are southpaws who are taller than Inoue, and naturally bigger. That was obviously the focus of the sparring to try and prepare directly for Dasmarinas.
The travel plan is to leave Japan for the bout on Wednesday, along with a rather sizable team, a reported 10 people in total. This should give him over a week to shake whatever jetlag he might have upon landing in the US.
Regarding weight issues, Inoue stated that he suffered from somecramps ahead of his last bout, against Jason Moloney, and will be looking to avoid them here. Though it appears there is no issues at all in making the 118lb Bantamweight limit, and that his weight loss is very much "as usual" and that he feels the same way he usually does 2 weeks before a bout.
In regards to Dasmarinas, it appears a careful, cautious gameplan has been set up for Inoue. They seem wary about Dasmarinas's size and reach, but will look to break him down slowly.
The longer term plan, after he gets past Dasmarinas, is for Inoue to attempt to unify all 4 Bantamweight world titles. He spoke aboue wanting to face recently WBC champion Nonito Donaire, and it was clear that's a bout Inoue has his eye on for the future. It was also a bout that Hideyuki Ohashi also spoke about wanting, whilst also praising Donaire's recent win over Nordine Oubaali.
One other thing that was mentioned here was that Inoue's purse for the fight was $1,000,000.
Earlier today Japanese star Naoya Inoue (20-0, 17) [井上 尚弥] was part of a press conference talking about his up coming bout against mandatory challenger Michael Dasmarinas (30-2-1, 20).
At the event the unbeaten "Monster", who will be defending his WBA "Super" and IBF Bantamweight against IBF Dasmarinas in June, was joined by his father, Shingo Inoue, and promoter Hideyuki Ohashi, who also gave comments to the press.
Inoue himself spoke about Dasmarinas in more detail, explaining that the Filipino is "A type that has a high KO rate and moves firmly. It is my first time to play against a tall southpaw, but I am not bad at it." Despite this being his first bout against a tall southpaw Inoue also wants to show some new tools in arsenal, stating "I've become able to react more accurately to the opponent's movements and hit punches. I want to show a different boxing than usual."
Of course a change of style is a risk but it appears that the aim for Inoue is the same as usual, with the fighter aiming for a KO win, and to appeal to the fans in the venue, stating "I want to grab the hearts of local fans and come back,"
This will be the third notable southpaw for Inoue, who has blown out Omar Andres Narvaez and Juan Carlos Payano. It's clear he's good against lefties, but he is still working on counter measures to deal with Dasmarinas, and to do that he has brought two Japanese fighters into camp, sparring with Reiya Abe (21-3-1, 9) [阿部麗也] and Ikuro Sadatsune (11-4-3, 4) [定常 育郎] whilst also having worked with Rentaro Kimura (3-0, 3) [木村蓮太朗], in the wake of Inoue's last bout late last year.
Naoya's father, Shingo also explained that they had been working on southpaw counter-measures and stated "I was able to take measures against southpaw from an early stage and practice at a fairly high level. (Dasmarinas) The guard is solid and the punch is strong, but Nao (Naoya) Can attack and destroy it from himself, or he can do it. I'm not worried about anything."
Mr Ohashi himself seemed confident, and wanting his man to impress, and not just win, stating"I want you to surprise American fans with the overwhelming KO that seems to be a monster. I want you to show me a great KO."
Inoue knows that this is a bout he's supposed to win, but he seemed very focused on winning, especially if he wants the big bouts and the much anticipated unification bouts. He made it clear that this bout was the next step in his career, "Clearing here and heading for a unified battle is a big motivation. If you have such a high motivation to face Dasmarinas, you can have a pretty good match. I want to go to the match."
For those interest the plan from the Inoue team is to face Dasmarinas, as scheduled in June, and then fight again before the end of the year, as well as next spring, as they look to unify the 4 Bantamweight world titles.
(Image courtesy of Ohashi Gym)
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