Yokohama Sees Naoya Inoue Headline New Year’s – This Saturday night sees WBO world super flyweight champion Naoya Inoue return to Japan to defend his belt against France’s Yoan Boyeaux.
Inoue is coming off his successful September debut in the United States that saw him defeat rugged Antonio Nieves by sixth round stoppage. The win was seen as a big step onto the world stage for the 24 year old who has carried the “prodigy” label since he was very young. Here, he steps into the headline spot on one of Japan’s biggest holidays. Former super featherweight champion Takuchi Uchiyama was the main attraction on New Year’s for more than a half decade but he retired in 2017. The return to Japan for this fight amounts to a coronation as Inoue becomes the number one guy in a tightly woven boxing scene.
WBC light flyweight champion Ken Shiro defends his title against Gilberto Pedroza of Panama. Pedroza comes from a family of fighters and his namesake from the last generation held a world title so he faces high expectations. At 25 years old, Shiro is another one of Japan’s young guns and a win over Pedroza would give the young champion a third successful title defense.
Inoue’s brother Takuma may be the next big thing to follow his brother. The 22 year old is facing Japanese veteran Kentaro Masuda in a 10-round bout to get things started.
Saturday, December 30th, 2017 – Bunka Gym, Yokohama, Japan
(Card Subject T0 Change):
115 LBS 12 RDS: Naoya Inoue (14-0) vs Yoan Boyeaux (41-4)
108 LBS 12 RDS: Ken Shiro (11-0) vs Gilberto Pedroza (18-3-2)
126 LBS 12 RDS: Satoshi Shimizu (4-0) vs Eduardo Mancito (15-7-2)
122 LBS 10 RDS: Takuma Inoue (9-0) vs Kentaro Masuda (27-8)
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Naoya Inoue. Photo by Naoki Fukuda.