WBO World super flyweight champion Naoya Inoue (11-0, 9 KOs) will be defending his title this Friday night on December 30 against 36-year-old former WBA super flyweight champion Kohei Kono (32-9, 13 KOs) at the Ariake Colosseum, in Tokyo, Japan.
The 23-year-old Inoue will be making his fifth defense of his World Boxing Organization title against #10 WBO Kono. This would have been a great fight seven years ago before Kono’s career fell apart. Since 2010, Kono has lost five times in defeats to Tomas Rojas, Yota Sato, Yohei Tobe, Liborio Solis and most recently to Luis Concepcion.
He also had a draw against Noberto Jimandez in 2014. Things have been up and down with Kono’s career in the last four years. He won the WBA super flyweight title off of Panthep Mullipoom in 2012, but then lost the belt in his first defense against Loborio Solia in 2013. In 2014, Kono won the vacant WBA World super flyweight title off of Sutep Wangmuk. In 2015, Kono lost his WBA title to Koki Komeda in losing a 12 round decision.
Inoue said this fight fightnews.com about his fight against Kono:
“I’ve had a very best condition in latest fights, and wish to show a good performance for my campaign in the next year,” said Inoue.
Inoue is perceived by some boxing fans to be the best fighter in the super flyweight division. However, with the arrival of Roman Gonzalez to the division, it’s unclear if Inoue is the best any longer. Gonzalez looks very hard to bet right now, and Inoue might not be able to handle his combination punching. If the two of them could face each other in the next year or two, it could be great for boxing fans. Gonzalez is 29 now, and he can’t afford to wait forever for the much younger 23-year-old Inoue to face him.
Inoue won the WBO super flyweight title from Omar Narvaev in December 2014. Since that time, Inoue has decnded it three times in beating Warlito Parrenas, David Carmona and Karoon Jarupianlerd.
Also on the card is IBF light flyweight champion Akira Yaegashi against challenger Samartlek Kokietgym. It should be a fun fight for as long as it lasts.
2012 Olympic gold medalist Ryota Murata will be fighting Bruno Sandoval.