By Jake Donovan
Takuma Inoue may not boast the explosive power his older brother Naoya has displayed while on the rise, but both continue to storm through an accelerated level of competition at an alarming rate.
The 19-year young super flyweight outpointed Philippines’ Mark Geraldo in his first scheduled 12-round bout Monday evening in Tokyo, Japan. Scores were 115-112, 116-111 and 117-110 in favor of Inoue, who in just five pro fights has already faced three opponents who have fought for a major title or in a final eliminator.
Monday’s bout was not televised live—it won’t air until July 18 on Fuji TV in Japan. For a comprehensive report on the 12 rounds of action, please visit our good friend Takahiro Onanga at AsianBoxing.info.
The bout marked the first time in Inoue’s young career that he and his brother did not appear on the same card.
Naoya Inoue is at the tail end of injury rehabilitation following surgery on his right hand, having not fought since last New Year’s Eve. It was the lone setback to an otherwise stellar ring campaign last year, for which he was honored by BoxingScene.com as 2014 Fighter of the Year.
The capper to his amazing year came in a two-round blowout of top-rated Omar Narvaez to nab a super flyweight title. On the same card, Takuma proved his worth in an eight-round decision over Nestor Narvaez, Omar’s younger brother.
Prior to Monday, Inoue has barely lost a round, quite a feat considering he’d already fought 24 of them through his first four fights. A landslide decision win over Fahlan Sakkreerin Jr. in just his second pro fight was a clear indication of his potential for future greatness. As much was on display in his win over Narvaez last December.
Inoue was tested by Geraldo on Monday, but not until he had built up a large enough to lead to where—as described by Onaga—he could afford to coast late in the fight. Geraldo, who lost a landslide decision to McJoe Arroyo in their title eliminator last December, managed to score a knockdown in the 12th and final round, but Inoue managed to finish the fight on his feet and hear the scorecards read in his favor.
The win puts Inoue’s career mark to 5-0 (1KO). His lone knockout came against a fighter making his pro debut; his other four bouts have come against vastly more experienced opponents.
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox