Naoya Inoue vs. Yoan Boyeaux on Dec.30
By Jim Dower: WBO super flyweight champion Naoya Inoue (14-0, 12 KOs) will be defending his title next month against #8 WBO Yoan Boyeaux (41-4, 26 KOs) on December 30th at the Bunka Gym in Yokohama, Japan.
This is another voluntary defense for the 24-year-old Inoue. In Inoue’s last fight, he successfully defended his belt against Antonio Nieves at SuperFly on September 9. Nieves was totally over-matched, as many boxing fans expected, and he ended up quitting after the 6th.
If Inoue beats Boyeaux, he’ll be next fighting on SuperFly II on February 24 on HBO Boxing. With the SuperFly II card less than 2 months away from his December 30th fight, Inoue has to make sure he doesn’t take a lot of punishment against Boyeaux. If Inoue is injured or if he gets hit a lot by Boyeaux, it could be hard for him to make a quick turnaround in fighting in February. Inoue is going to be expected to fight a good opponent on SuperFly 2.
Inoue’s last fight on SuperFly was little more than a glorified mismatch, as Nieves came into the fight having recently been beaten in his previous fight by Nikolai Potapov. Inoue might as well have been fighting Potapov rather than Nieves. But in facing weak opposition highly visible fight cards, Inoue can showcase his boxing skills without worry of looking bad or potentially losing.
“Within two months after this title bout, I wish to appear in the U.S. ring again, but will concentrate on this defense at first,” Inoue said to espn.com.
Inoue is becoming a big star in his naïve Japan, and he’s already considered one of the best fighters in boxing despite not having fought anyone of note. Inoue’s best wins have come against former WBC light flyweight champion Adrian Hernandez and former 2 division world champion Omar Andres Narvaez, David Carmona and Antonio Nieves. Narvaez was a good fighter during his prime. But by the time Inoue fought Narvaez, he was already 39-years-old and well beyond his prime. As for Adrian Hernandez, he’d recently been beaten Suriyan Satorn.
Inoue has already won world titles in 2 different divisions, and he has the potential of moving up and winning up and winning more titles. The boxing public wants to see Inoue face WBC super flyweight champion Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, but he doesn’t seem too interested in facing the fighter from Thailand.
Inoue is talking about wanting to move up in weight to bantamweight. Hopefully, Inoue will face Rungvisai before he moves up to 118, as he’s really not faced any of the talented fighters in his current 115 lb. weight class. Inoue has yet to fight these guys:
• Srisaket Sor Rungvisai
• Carlos Cuadras
• Roman Gonzalez
• Khalid Yafai
• Jerwin Acajas
• Juan Francisco Estrada
There’s talk of Inoue possibly facing Roman Gonzalez soon, but that’s no longer a great fight given the recent back to back losses for Chocolatito.
Rungvisai will be defending his WBC title against Juan Francisco Estrada in the main event of SuperFly II on February 24.