Advertisement
Advertisement
Boxingscene.com

Naoya Inoue's Power Has Improved at 118, Says Sparring Partner

By Nick Skok

Undefeated, top-ten pound for pound ranked fighter, Naoya Inoue will soon be moving up to bantamweight. I reported last month that a domestic affair with WBA “regular” champion Jamie McDonnell of England was in the works (and later confirmed) for May 25th, in what may be the toughest test to date for Inoue.

The way he approaches the new weight class hasn’t changed his overall preparation, according to his regular sparring partner Genesis Servania.

“No change in his style,” says Genesis through his manager Loren Goodman. Inoue and Genesis have been in the gym in Yokohama putting in the rounds.

While there is often the question of whether or not a boxer can carry his power to the next level when rising in weight, that apparently isn’t the case for Inoue.

“Inoue has improved power,” Genesis said.

Genesis knows a thing or two about power having been in a slugfest last September that saw him drop but lose an exciting fight with featherweight champion Oscar Valdez. His authority on the subject may now even supersede Shingo Inoue, Naoya’s father and trainer. Last year Naoya broke his father’s wrist while he was working the pads that Shingo was holding. Since then Shingo no longer holds those pads.

Inoue was always a big super flyweight. He maintained the weight longer than initially planned in hopes of securing a major unification fight with then undefeated Roman Gonzalez, who is promoted by Teiken Gym in Tokyo. The fight was planned for the initial Super Fly card but was unhinged after a shocking loss by Gonzalez at the hands of Sor Rungvisai. That result set up a rematch between those two while Inoue was left to find another dance partner.

monster-inoue (3)

With HBO now backing Inoue after the success of their initial Super Fly card, expectations were high that a major opponent could be lined up for the WBO champion. Talks had been on-again, off-again with IBF super flyweight champ Jerwin Anacajas. Ancajas and his team decided to go in another direction and sign with Top Rank who is not affiliated with HBO and had no intent on making an Inoue matchup on ESPN.

That left Kal Yafai, the WBA champ as the last option for an immediate big fight at the 115lb limit. Yafai and his promoter Eddie Hearn had been vocal last year about wanting to make a unification fight for Yafai. A deal didn’t seem out of reach for the powers that be as Hearn already has one his fighter’s exclusively aligned with HBO. However, Hearn preferred Yafai face Gonzalez, the older fighter, coming off of two consecutive brutal losses, compared to the fresher, younger, Inoue. You won’t hear it from them, just as you won’t hear them mention boxing’s new boogey man by name, but a duck hasn’t been so obvious as to Hearn pricing Yafai out of the Inoue fight they never wanted, on a stage as big as it’s ever been for the super fly class.

Instead, Yafai has been inactive since October and still has no return set. His calls for a unification and American debut are ringing again this year just as they were last, and he still prefers to face a fading Gonzalez. A Boxing Scene article published days ago quoted him as saying: “I am still desperate for it.” He continued: “I want that unification fight, I need that big name opponent now,” Yafai said. “I want to make my name in America.”

While it’s too little, too late for Yafai and his hollow calls reminiscent of Amir Khan’s pleas for a Mayweather showdown, Inoue has his eyes set on a third division title and bigger fighters who he hopes may underestimate his size and strength. If Genesis’s word is any indicator then Inoue’s KO streak will have a chance of continuing at bantamweight.

The boogeyman, “the Monster”, Naoya Inoue, will be the favorite May 25th to win but it won’t be because he is necessarily more powerful than McDonnell (though their KO ratios are vastly different). McDonnnell had been set to move up in weight and it will be interesting to see how much he has to work to get back to 118 while Inoue slides into the class with almost a sense of relief – no longer fighting to cut pounds for fighters who won’t get in the ring with him.

Nick Skok writes for NoSparring.com

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by 1hourRun on 03-21-2018

[QUOTE=angkag;18590811]I guess I'm more forgiving due to the age he was at and that he still had a lot of growing and developing to do until now. [B]You ask the right question in 'when is it enough ?'. I'd say…

Comment by angkag on 03-21-2018

Just a note but the next season of the World Boxing Super Series has mentioned 3 weight classes, one of which is 118 (135 and 175 the other two). Depends who signs up, but 118 could be a fun one.

Comment by Just looking on 03-21-2018

Number 1 p4p right here, would love to see him vs Rungvisai, anyone knows why Rungvisai fought Estrada and not Inoue last superfly?

Comment by Thraxox on 03-21-2018

[QUOTE=1hourRun;18590759]I already talked about this with you in another thread, why keep debating it? I told you in 2014 Naoya was top ten P4P already two weight champion and lineal at 115 ; had wins over current unified IBF-WBA jr.…

Comment by Mexican_Puppet on 03-21-2018

Jajajajaja Narváez the man at 115? Narváez with 40 years old and he always was a bum killer. Narváez and Jamie are B classes champions. Tete it's a good test. Jamie? Solís whooped his ass... [QUOTE=nycsmooth;18590761]An excellent fighter and I…

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (13)
Top Headlines Charr Wins Appeal, Reinstated As WBA Titlist; Box-Off To Follow Miles Shinkwin Back In March, Defends English Title Frank Warren: Joshua Made Massive Mistake in Snubbing Wilder Canelo-Jacobs: NSAC To Review Venue Request at 1/29 Hearing Eubank Jr. Very Pleased With Camp Ahead of Degale Clash Caleb Plant: I'm The Big Dog at 168, They've Got To Come See Me Hearn: Wilder, His Handlers Don't Have Decency To Answer Back Chris Algieri Confident He Can Raise His Level Against Hooker Kovalev Asks Fans 'Not To Make Hasty Conclusions On Situation' Cano in Line For a Big Fight, Linares Heading Back To 135 Curtis Stevens Heading To 154: Eyes Hurd, Lara, Harrison, Munguia Pulev vs. Helenius Clash Still Be Worked Out For Crawford-Khan Broner: I'll Be Back; All You Motherf***ers Will Still Tune In! Manny Pacquiao vs. Adrien Broner: CompuBox By The Numbers Gvozdyk To Take Voluntary Before Mandatory Versus Browne Pacquiao To Have Scratched Cornea Re-Examined Monday In L.A. Andrade: I Want Golovkin Next, To Prove I'm #1 at Middleweight Hearn: Don't Be Surprised if Joshua is on DAZN in the US in June Broner: Ain’t Got Mark On Me; They Thought They’d F*** Me Up Pacquiao: I Was Surprised Broner Didn't Throw Lot Of Punches Manny Pacquiao-Adrien Broner: Afterthoughts Broner Falls Very Short on Promised 'New Beginning' For Career Luis Coria Win Big in First Garcia Brothers Promoted Card Badou Jack Gets Stitched Up, Has No Excuses Over Loss Manny Pacquiao Says Injury To His Left Eye is Not Serious Manny Pacquiao Dishes Out Adrien Broner's Comeuppance Pacquiao's LA Home is Burglarized a Day After Broner Win Claressa Shields: Anybody Who Thinks Broner Won is Crazy! Video: Shawn Porter Reacts To Pacquiao Defeating Broner Video: Buboy Reacts To Pacquiao Defeating Adrien Broner Video: Mayweather Sr. Throws Shade at Adrien Broner For Loss Pacquiao: We Can't Blame Broner For Thinking He Won Fight Former Champ Gamache Assaulted on Street By Mystery Man Video: Roy Jones Jr. Reacts To Pacquiao Defeating Broner Video: Devin Haney Reacts To Pacquiao Defeating Broner Video: Daniel Jacobs Discusses Canelo Alvarez Fight WBO To Review Saunders Suspension, Could Be in Line For Andrade Video: Adrien Broner Explains Why He Beat Manny Pacquiao Video: Mikey Garcia Reacts To Pacquio's Win Over Broner Video: Pacquiao Reacts To Win Over Broner, Wanting Mayweather
Advertisement

Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement