Naoya Inoue vs. Yoan Boyeaux – Weights
By Jim Dower: Unbeaten Naoya Inoue (14-0, 12 KOs) weighed in at 115 pounds for his title defense of his WBO super flyweight strap against fringe contender Yoan Boyeaux (41-4, 26 KOs) for their fight this Saturday night at the Bunka Gym in Yokohama, Japan. Boyeaux weighed in at 113.75 pounds.
This will be Inoue’s last fight at super flyweight, since he’s decided to move up in weight to bantamweight to compete in that weight class. The timing of the 24-year-old Inoue moving up in weight is a bad one, as it looks to some boxing fans like he’s running from the top fighters in the 115 lb. weight class.
Inoue is recognized by the best talent in the 115 lb. division, but he’s never faced any of the good fighters in the weight class to show that he deserves the praise.
Inoue is leaving the super flyweight division WITHOUT facing these fighters:
• Srisaket Sor Rungvisai
• Juan Francisco Estrada
• Roman Gonzalez
• Carlos Cuadras
• Khalid Yafai
• Jerwin Ancajas
If those guys want to fight Inoue, they’ll need to follow him up to the bantamweight division. Even then, it’s debatable whether Inoue will fight them. Inoue chose not to face any of those guys at 115, so there’s a chance that he wouldn’t bother facing them at 118. Rungvisai and Ancajas are said to have been interested in fighting Inoue.
Inoue hasn’t really challenged himself since moving up to the super flyweight division three years ago. Inoue looks good beating up on lesser fighters, but it’s unclear whether he could do the same if he had chosen to fight the best. In Inoue’s toughest test a 115, he struggled to defeat David Carmona (20-5-5, 8 KOs) last year in beating him by a 12 round unanimous decision by the scores 118-109, 116-111 and 118-109. Boxing News 24 scored the Inoue-Carmona fight 116-111. That was not an easy fight for Inoue. As much as I want to give him credit for the win, he lost a lot of rounds in that fight. The way Inoue had problems with Carmona, it’s impossible to believe that he would beat the better fighters in the super flyweight division like Rungvisai, Cuadras, Yafai and Ancajas. Inoue might be doing the right thing in moving up in weight, because the chances are high that he would exposed if he were to have stuck around and faced the best in the division instead of the likes of Boyeaux, Carmona, Antonio Nieves, Ricardo Rodriguez, Kohei Kono, Omar Andres Narvaez, Karoon Jarupianlerd and Warlito Parrenas.
In other weights on the card, WBC World light flyweight champion Ken Shiro (11-0, 5 KOs) weighed in at 107.25 lbs. for his title defense against #11 WBC Gilberto Pedroza (18-3-2, 8 KOs). This is a voluntary defense for the 25-year-old Shiro. Pedroza weighed in at 107.75 lbs.