I don’t get asked about any Japanese fighter as much as I get asked about “The Monster” Naoya Inoue (10-0, 8) with several people messaging me on twitter recently asking about his next fight, and any other Naoya related news. Thankfully after weeks of waiting, and twiddling my thumbs, I can confirm that Naoya will be back in the ring on September 4th in what is going to be a home-coming bout.
The hugely popular WBO Super Flyweight world champion will be making the third defense of his title on the first Sunday in September as he takes on Thai veteran Petchbarngborn Kokietgym (38-7-1, 18), who some may recall was lined up for a fight with Paul Butler before the “Baby Faced Assassin” failed to make weight.
The bout will be held at the Sky Arena in Zama, Kanagawa and will see Inoue return to the venue where he won his first professional title, the Japanese Light Flyweight title, way back in August 2013. Since then all of his fights have been in Tokyo.
Whilst fans of “The Monster” may be disappointed in this match his team seem to be working towards a potential super in Spring 2017 and will be waiting to see the winner of the highly anticipated WBC title fight between defending champion Carlos Cuadras and the phenomenal Roman Gonzalez. It seems likely that a unification bout will be on the mind of all 3 men going into their bouts.
For Petchbarngborn, also known as Karoon Jarupainlerd, the bout is a well paid affair but one that he will go into as a massive under-dog. Even more so given that he’s lost in 4 previous visits to Japan. He is however on a 16 fight winning streak and will be full of confidence. In a way however it’s a bit of good luck that he deserves given the way he was messed around by Butler earlier in the year.
As with all of Inoue’s bouts now a days the contest will be shown on Fuji TV.
As for the under-card fans will see the debut of 2012 Olympic bronze medal winner Satoshi Shimizu and a really intriguing match up between Naoya’s younger brother Takuma Inoue (7-0, 2) and once beaten Filipino Froilan Saludar (23-1-1, 14).
Scott Graveson covers the Asian boxing scene for www.asianboxing.info