On December 30th we'll see WBO Super Flyweight world champion Naoya Inoue (11-0, 9) [井上 尚弥] defending his title against former 2-time WBA champion Kohei Kono (32-9-1, 13) [河野 公平], in what will be Inoue's 3rd "end of year" bout, following wins over Omar Andres Narvaez and Walito Parrenas the last two years.
Today, ahead of the bout, Inoue took part in a public work out with father-trainer Shingo Inoue and promoter Hideyuki Ohashi.
The youngster looked sharp during the work out though the bigger stories regarding the whole session was more the comments that were made to the media, rather than the work it's self.
Last time we saw Inoue he looked less than sensational as he took a 10th round KO win over Petchbarngborn Kokietgym. The performance that day was less than spectacular with Inoue looking off. That poor performance was put down to over-training and suffering several niggling injuries during his training camp, which had included 120 rounds of sparring. This time around the camp has featured just 60 rounds of sparring, with each round having a particular focus, set out by his father. It's though that the limited sparring will help Inoue from suffering similar issues with the up coming bout against Kono.
The hope for Inoue is that a win over Kono will open doors for major international fights in 2017, with the fighter and his team again name dropping Nicaraguan great Roman Gonzalez as their target. Interestingly this bout will be his first at world level against a Japanese opponent, and his first with a countryman since he won the Japanese Light Flyweight title more than 3 years ago, when he beat Kono's stablemate Ryoichi Taguchi.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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