On December 29th at the Ariake Colosseum in Tokyo, Japan WBO World Super Flyweight Champion Naoya Inoue returned to the ring after an absence of 364 days.
Undefeated at (8-0) and still just 22 years old, Inoue needed a good performance in his return to re-capture some lost momentum.
The Transnational Boxing Rankings have him rated as the #1 Super Flyweight in the world, and the #8 pound for pound fighter in the world, positions he was one day short of losing due to inactivity.
Inoue needed just 260 seconds to stop opponent Warlito Parrenas, an experienced Philippino boxer who was (24-6-1) coming into the bout and had a style that was expected to push Inoue.
That was not the case, as Inoue had his way with Parrenas from the early going, and at the start of round two when Inoue picked up the pace, it was clear Parrenas was not going to see round 3.
The win has left Inoue as a rumored opponent for all-world WBO Flyweight Champion Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez, though that match-up may be hard to make with all the players involved.
Naoya was the headline fight on an 8 bout card that featured two of his brothers entering the ring.
Also charging up the Super Flyweight ladder is 20 year old Takuma Inoue, who is now (6-0) and has the regional Oriental and Pacific Boxing Federation title on his mantle.
Inoue won a twelve round unanimous decision (118-109, 118-109, 117-110) over Rene Dacquel in his first title defense.
The night saw 23 year old Koki Inoue, the oldest of the three brothers, making his debut.
Koki who is almost 5'10 and fights in the 140 lb. weight class, scored a first round knock-out of Indonesia's Jackson Lapie.
Only Naoya's world title bout aired on FUJI TV in Japan, however it will be interesting to see if expectations for the trio of fighting brothers and the three become the next “big thing” in Japanese boxing.