Advertisement
Advertisement
Boxingscene.com

Inoue A Win Away From Shaking Up Fighter Of Year Race

By Jake Donovan
 
In a fight that has major Year-End awards - including Fighter of the Year - on pause, precocious Naoya Inoue moves up two weight classes to take on long-reigning 115 lb. titlist Omar Narvaez. Their clash takes place Tuesday in Tokyo, Japan, headlining a loaded card that features two more major title fights.

Narvaez and Inoue did their part to keep the main event intact, as both fighters made weight for their scheduled 12-round bout. Narvaez  (43-1-2, 23KOs)   tipped the scales at a fighting-ready 114.4 lb, while Inoue - who moves up from junior flyweight - came in just under the limit at 114.8 lb. 

The bout marks Narvaez' attempted 12th defense of the title he won in May '10, following a lengthy alphabet title reign at flyweight. The 39-year old southpaw has fought just six previous times outside of his native Argentina, with his record at 4-1-1 when away from home. Included among the lot is the lone loss of his career, dropping a 12-round decision in an embarrassing showing versus Nonito Donaire in a failed bid at a bantamweight belt in Oct' 11 at Madison Square Garden Theatre in New York City. 

Overall, Narvaez boasts an incredible mark of 28-1-1 in major title fights. His last defense came in September, scoring a majority decision over Felipe Orucuta in a rematch to their far more debatable first affair last May, in which Narvaez escaped with a highly disputed split decision. 

Inoue (7-0, 6KOs) has wasted no time in moving from newcomer to prospect to champion since turning pro just over two years ago. His first title win came just days before his 21st birthday, slaughtering Adrian Hernandez inside of six rounds to claim a 108 lb. title. 

Just one defense followed, an 11th round stoppage of Samartiek Kokietgym in September, before deciding he can no longer squeeze into a junior flyweight costume. Shortly thereafter came the decision to pencil in one more fight in 2014, leapfrogging the flyweight division to challenge an incumbent titlist who was entering his 25th title fight by the time Inoue turned pro in Oct. '12. 

A win by Inoue - especially one of the decisive (or better) variety - will garner the 21-year old major consideration for BoxingScene.com 2014 Fighter of the Year, a race that currently also includes unbeaten lightweight king Terence Crawford and undefeated super flyweight titlist Amnat Ruenroeng among the short list of frontrunners for the award. 

Also on the show: 
- Former two-division champ Akira Yaegashi (20-4, 10KOs) takes on Mexico's Pedro Guevara (23-1-1, 15KOs) in a 12-round bout for the 108 lb. belt vacated by Inoue in order to challenge at a higher weight;
- Jorge Linares (37-3, 24KOs) - also a former two-division titlist - takes another swing at a lightweight belt as he faces Javier Prieto (24-7-2, 18KOs) for a vacant title. 
- Takuma Inoue and Nestor Narvaez - the younger siblings of the main event players - square off in a scheduled eight-round flyweight bout. Inoue (3-0, 1KO) turned 19 on Friday, while Narvaez (20-2-2, 9KOs) celebrates his 33rd birthday on Monday by making weight.
- Rising super flyweight prospect (and perhaps ready for contention) Ryo Matsumoto (12-0, 10KOs) looks to capitalize on the biggest win of his career - a two-round drubbing of former titlist Denkaosan Kaovichit in September - as he faces Thailand's Rusalee Samor (25-5-2, 11KOs)
- In perhaps the lone mismatch of the card (on paper), 2012 Olympic Gold medalist Ryota Murata (5-0, 4KOs) faces American journeyman Jessie Nicklow (24-4-3, 8KOs)

The show airs live on Fuji TV in Japan, and on TyC Sports in Argentina and the United States. 
 
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene.com, as well as the Records Keeper for the Transnational Boxing Ratings Board and a member of Boxing Writers Association of America. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox
User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by Babalu11 on 12-29-2014

Adrian Hernandez is one of my favorite little favorites and this kid Inoue took his belt pretty easily. He's fast, accurate and has power, but moving 2 divisions to fight a veteran is a big risk. I see it a…

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (1)
Top Headlines Frampton, Barnes, Conlan Discuss Rise of Belfast Boxing Scene Horn: If Crawford Rematch in Australia - Might Be Different Story! Miguel Gonzalez Beats Yader Cardoza By Unanimous Decision Raza Hamza To Fight, First Time Since Tragic Death of Brother Golovkin's Coach: Kellerman is One of The Most Biased on TV! Jorge Linares Would Love Jose Ramirez or Mikey Garcia Next Vinny Maddalone Reflects: I Was Always One Fight Away Sanchez Rejects Claims That Golovkin Faded in Canelo Rematch Sampson: Sergio Martinez Taking Dangerous Risk With Chavez Jr. Victor Ortiz, Days Before Fight, Charged With Sexual Assault Photos: Jorge Linares, Romero Duno Hold Open Workouts Gennady Golovkin Meets With Promoter, Discusses Future Plans Dogboe, Teofimo Lopez in Line For Lomachenko-Pedraza Card Wilder's Manager Doubts Joshua Fight Will Happen in 2019 Canelo-Golovkin - No Robbery, Embrace The Fight For What It Is George Groves Warns Smith: I'm in The Form of My Life Saul Rodriguez To Return on Berchelt-Roman ESPN+ Card Photo: Carl Frampton, Josh Warrington - Face To Face at Presser Canelo-GGG Rematch Earned Less $$$ From Tickets Than 1st Fight Claressa Shields-Christina Hammer Set For 11/17 In Atlantic City Wilder's Team Have 'No Desire' For New Meeting on Joshua Deal Matchroom Inks Eight Year Content Deal With DAZN Canada Lomachenko vs. Pedraza Official For December 8, MSG Theater Angel Acosta vs. Abraham Rodriguez Tops Golden Boy Card News: Zhang Zhilei, Junior Younan, Kai Robin Havnaa, More Billy Joe Saunders Hit With £100,000 Fine By The BBBoC Jessie Vargas vs. Thomas Dulorme To Have WBC Silver at Stake Cunningham: I'll Resurrect Lubin, Guarantee He Will Rule at 154 Hearn: If Fury Beats Wilder, Rematch Will Prevent Joshua-Fury WBC Prez on Porter-Spence Unification, Thurman's Direct Shot Tony Bellew: I Know I'll Find A Way To Beat Usyk; I Always Do JJ McDonagh Blasts Eubanks as "Fakes" Nicola Adams Aims To Blast Out Millan For WBO Crown Usyk: One Reason We Agreed To Face Bellew - Is To Get Joshua! Michael Conlan: Vladimir Nikitin Will Be My First Step Up Golovkin's Coach Doubts Age Will Be a Factor in Canelo Trilogy Brian Rose Vows To Make His Comeback in Top Form Incessant Sanctioning Silliness Prompts Alternative Crusade Canelo Has No Issue Working Out New Deal With HBO Anthony Joshua: Dillian Whyte Deserves it More Than Tyson Fury
Advertisement

Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement