Japanese youngsters really are on the rise in recent times with numerous sensational talents breaking through and making a name for themselves after very few fights and at very young ages.
The latest of those appears to be Takuma Inoue (5-0, 1), the younger brother of current WBO Super Flyweight champion Naoya Inoue, who claimed his first professional title earlier today with a sterling performance at the Korakuen Hall and really showed that he was as good as many are hyping him to be, even if he lacks his brother's thunderous power.
The 19 year old, who has been fast tracked at a similar pace to the "Monster", was facing experienced Filipino Mark Anthony Geraldo (31-6-3, 14) in what looked to be a really good test on paper. In the end however Geraldo, like Takuma's previous opponents, struggled to keep pace with the Japanese youngster who was sharp from the off and appears to be learning fight after fight.
From the opening bell Takuma took control, show casing his movement and sharp punching which was exemplified by his lighting jab and clean straight right which found a home on Geraldo almost from the get go. The 1-2 of Takuma and his movement allowed him to easily take the first 4 rounds and look like he was going to be in very a very easy nights work.
Geraldo, to his credit, began to have success in the middle portion of the fight as Takuma began to slow slightly. It however was still clear that Takuma was racking up the rounds with his excellent boxing and that Geraldo was really struggling to make any kind of a case to claim a round. The Filipino, for all his experience, was always looking a step behind the Japanese teenager who looked like a fighter more developed than his experience would suggest.
The open scoring after 8 rounds showed just how one sided the bout was with Takuma effectively close to a shut out. The scores however had two effects, one of those was to see Takuma put on cruise control whilst another was to inspire Geraldo who went into the final 4 rounds knowing he needed a KO to win. The Filipino really did go seeking that knockout, though never came close to stopping the Japanese youngster. The closest we came to a major turn around was a flash knockdown against Takuma in the final round, though it was little more than a minor success for Geraldo who had done too little too late.
At the end the decision was never in doubt with Takuma winning courtesy of scores of 115-112,116-111,117-110. It was however a clear win than one of those scores suggests with Takuma having run of a very wide margin before taking his foot off the gas late and allowing the score to close up a bit. There was however no signs of real issues with stamina, more a bit of complacency.
At ringside numerous fans were reportedly stating that Takuma, whilst excellent, wasn't as good as his older brother. That however is no surprise with very fighters on the planet being as good as Naoya. Their was however serious hope that a world title fight would be next for Takuma. We suspect that maybe delayed a little bit, with maybe a single defense of the OPBF title before Takuma moves to world level, however it's clear that the 19 year old is head to a world title sooner rather than later.
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