September 5, 2016
September 5, 2016
Naoya Inoue

Naoki Fukuda

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September 2

 

Los Angeles, CA, USA: Middle: Antonio Gutierrez (21-2-1) W PTS 10 Jorge Melendez (29-7-1). Light: Chris Gonzalez (15-0) W KO 2 Jonathon Corrales (8-4-2). Light: Lamont Roach (12-0) W KO 3 Mario Macias (28-20,1ND).

Gutierrez vs. Melendez

Gutierrez overcomes slow start and a couple of cuts to get unanimous decision over Puerto Rican puncher Melendez. It was Melendez who was out of the blocks quickest and it looked ominous for Gutierrez when he was floored by a right in the second round. Gutierrez then took the fight inside. Melendez had height, reach and power but by working inside and throwing a higher volume of punches Gutierrez was able to smother Melendez’s work and he took over the fight in the middle rounds. A Gutierrez right had Melendez shaky in the fifth and he also had a big seventh. However a Melendez punch opened a cut over left eye of Gutierrez in the same round. That gave Melendez some heart and he had a good spell in the eighth but even then Gutierrez matched him and may have edged the round. The ninth was close with Melendez scoring with a good uppercut only to suffer a cut over his left eye and as they both traded shots in the last Gutierrez had the better of the exchanges. Scores 97-92 twice and 96-93 all for Gutierrez. The 22-year-old from Tijuana was unbeaten in his first 18 fights before losing a majority verdict to Paul Valenzuela in May last year. He just came up short in his last fight in June when he had Gabriel Rosado on the floor only to lose a close decision. The 27-year-old Melendez was at one time world rated as he put together a run of 13 wins on the bounce 12 by KO/TKO. He then ran out of steam and up against some better opposition is now 3-5 in his last 8 fights

Gonzalez vs. Corrales

Young Californian prospect Gonzalez continues to squash the opposition. “Chimpa” had scored eight first round wins and nearly made it nine as he floored Mexican Corrales in the first round. Corrales survived but not for long. He was floored again in the second and the referee just waived the fight off without counting. Now 20 years of age Gonzalez turned pro at 17 after only 18 amateur fights but he has made rapid progress and has 13 wins by KO/TKO. He is the half brother of former WBC feather champion Alejandro Gonzalez. Southpaw Corrales was 6-0-2 in his last 8 fights but this is now his second loss by KO/TKO.

Roach vs. Macias

Roach just too much for a faded Macias. It was all Roach in the first. He showed a flashing jab and swift combinations. Macias was bundling forward but Roach shook him with a left hook and as the Mexican veteran staggered back into the ropes Roach unloading some heavy punches from both hands. Macias escaped from the ropes but only briefly. He was still unsteady and a right from Roach had him staggering into the ropes again on unsteady pins. The referee gave Macias a standing count and the bell went as the eight was reached. Roach seemed to be boxing too carefully in the second boxing on the back foot allowing Macias to come forward and do most of the scoring. Late in the round Roach let his hands go rocking Macias with two right and then stepping inside with a double left hook to the body and then to the chin flooring Macias heavily and also knocking the mouthguard out. Macias was up at six and when the eight count was reached the referee started to waive them to continue but the bell went again. There was no escape for Macias in the third. When the bell went Roach strode across the ring and landed a right/left combination that sent Macias down with the referee immediately stopping the fight just 5 seconds into the round. The 21-year-old from Maryland breaks a streak of 5 points win in a row. Macias needs to find another job. He lasted just 41 seconds against Gervonta Davis in June. In fact he is 2-8 in his last 18 fights and three of those losses including the Davis one where in the first round.

 

Thailand: Fly: Kwanpichit (39-1-2) W KO 6 Richard Rosales (11-4-2).

Kwanpichit takes a while to catch up with clever cocky Filipino but ends it in the sixth. Kwanpichit made a steady start. He let Rosales come forward and caught most of the Filipino’s punches on his high guard but was caught with a good left hook. When Kwanpichit did let his punches go he landed two good rights. A supremely confident Rosales was doing quite a bit of showboating in the second. Theatrically wind milling his fists before leaping in with quick combinations. He got through with some punches but there was more venom in Kwanpichit’s. Rosales also made a fast start in the third and fourth rounds again wind milling his right arm before throwing quick combinations but Kwanpichit was letting his hands go more and closing the Filipino down forcing Rosales to stand and trade and landing some heavy rights. A wild fifth saw them trading punches. Rosales was landing far more but the power was with Kwanpichit and in an exchange a thunderous right cross from the Thai put Rosales down. He was up at six and the bell went just as the referee completed the eight count. Rosales took the fight to Kwanpichit in the sixth and they just stood and threw punches with no defence anywhere in sight.  Again Rosales did most of the scoring but a body punch saw him fold over and fall to his knees and he was counted out. Kwanpichit, 34, one of the stars of the Onesongchaigym team, lost on points to Shiming Zou in 2014 which is his only loss. He has now won 12 fights in a row by KO/TKO and has a total of 24 wins by KO/TKO. He is No 2 flyweight with the WBO so right behind Shiming Zou in the queue for a shot at Juan Francisco Estrada. Rosales, 23, had won 5 of his last 6 fights. He showed plenty of speed and plenty of confidence-in fact too much in the end as he did not have the power to match Kwanpichit.

 

September 3

 

Taguig City, Philippines: Super Fly: Jerwin Ancajas (25-1-1) W PTS 12 McJoe Arroyo (17-1).  Ancajas wins the WBO title with unanimous decision over Arroyo. Ancajas took the first round in this all-southpaw contest. He was quicker with his right jab and scored with a couple of long lefts and a short right hook with Arroyo out of distance with his punches. Arroyo did better in the second round as the action heated-up. He was getting his right jabs home and scoring with long lefts but with Ancajas hitting home with rights hooks to the body. They both did more missing than hitting in the third but Ancajas was mostly on the front foot and again was looking dangerous with sharp hooks to the ribs. Arroyo looked to have done enough to take the fourth scoring with quick combinations and trying to take the fight inside as Ancajas was better at long range. Ancajas clearly took the fifth slotting home jabs and right hooks from distance. Ancajas dominated the sixth. He was putting Arroyo under pressure and a right jab followed by a straight left sent the Puerto Rican staggering into the ropes. Arroyo then slipped to the canvas and when the action resumed Ancajas drove forward scoring with hooks to the body from both hands. Arroyo was under fire but punched back until Ancajas landed more heavy shots at the end of the round. The seventh also went to Ancajas. The pace dropped but Ancajas was scoring with the jab and straight lefts and Arroyo was relying on head down lunges and mostly missing the mark. Ancajas had a big eighth. He was using his right hook to the body again and also catching Arroyo with straight lefts. Ancajas hurt Arroyo with a left to the body that had Arroyo backing up and Ancajas followed him throwing hooks as Arroyo went back into the ropes and out through the middle ropes onto the ring apron. He was not badly hurt and quickly shuffled under the ropes and back to his feet by the count of four. After the eight count Arroyo tried to take the fight to Ancajas but was leaving himself open to counters and must have been happy to hear the bell. Arroyo made a big effort at the start of the ninth but was throwing wild punches and leaving himself open. Arroyo went down on his knees briefly but it was a slip. Every time Arroyo missed Ancajas made him pay with hard counters from both hands and a series of body punches had Arroyo backing up and covering up at the end of the round. Arroyo was better in the tenth and eleventh. He was ploughing forward throwing hooks with both hands and Ancajas work rate dropped as he seemed the more tired fighter. Arroyo was fighting like a fighter who knew he was losing and needed to take chances and Ancajas was like a fighter who knew he was winning and was just avoiding trouble. In the last Arroyo was coming forward for the three minutes but it was head down and swing again. Ancajas was picking and placing his punches and finished the round on top and as the new champion. Scores 118-109, 117-110 and 115-112 all for Ancajas with the middle score seeming the fairest to Arroyo’s efforts to keep his title but showing the dominance of Ancajas. The 24-year-old “Pretty Boy” from Cavite City suffered his only loss when dropping a majority decision to Mark Anthony Geraldo in 2012 but this is his twelfth win in a row since then. He also gets revenge for the Philippines over the fighter who beat Arthur Villanueva for this title last year. He joins fellow-Filipinos Nonito Donaire, Marlon Tapales and John Riel Casimero as world champion and let’s not forget Donnie Nietes and some guy called Manny Pacquiao both look promising! The 30-year-old Arroyo had good wins over Herman Marques and Mark Anthony Geraldo as well as Villanueva and was making the first defence of his title. He was to have defended against Ancajas in April but it was postponed due to a hand injury suffered by Arroyo. It was also suggested that he was hoping something could be done about the only purse bid to stage the fight coming from MP Promotions at $25,000 which would have made Arroyo’s purse $18,750(75%) but eventually the IBF threatened to strip him off the title if he did not fight Ancajas.  The show was free admission and reportedly Ancajas took even less than his share of the purse ($6,250) to get the home advantage.

 

Cuajmalpa, Mexico: Super Feather: Carlos Diaz R. (22-0,1ND) W PTS 10 Sam Gonzalez (11-4). Gabriel Pina (13-12-5) W PTS 8 Light: Miguel Beltran (31-5,1ND).

Diaz vs. Gonzalez

Diaz stays unbeaten but has to weather a stormy fifth round. Diaz got the better start he made good use of a quick, accurate jab and some nice left hooks to the body to take the first round. Gonzalez tried to press hard in the second but again Diaz had his jab working and he hurt Gonzalez with a left hook/straight right to take the round. In the third a clash of heads saw Gonzalez complaining to the referee about Diaz’s head work but it was left hooks to the body that were really hurting Gonzalez. In the fourth Diaz ignored his jab and Gonzalez was able to get inside bull Diaz to the ropes and score to the body to pocket his first round but a big swelling was showing under his right eye. The fifth was a disaster for Diaz. A huge right had him badly hurt and on wobbly legs. Gonzalez drove him around the ring scoring with hooks and uppercuts jarring Diaz’s head time and again. Gonzalez looked to be just one punch away from victory but a gutsy Diaz would not go down and kept punching back even as he was being pounded. There was no knockdown but it was a 10-8 round for Gonzalez that made the fight even. Gonzalez seemed to have punched himself out and Diaz took the sixth and seventh going back to his jab and firing left hooks to the body. They were both showing signs of tiredness in the eighth with Gonzalez coming forward but Diaz doing the cleaner work.  He also took the ninth working his jab and scoring with uppercuts inside. Gonzalez put in a big effort in the tenth with Diaz up on his toes. Gonzalez seemed to shake Diaz with a right to the head and managed to land a couple more but it was too late to change the outcome. Scores 97-93 from all three judges for Diaz. The 21-year-old from Guadalajara was coming off a good win over Robert Marroquin in May but there were times when he was in deep trouble in this one and Venezuelan Gonzalez is by no means a top level opponent and Diaz may be found out as his opposition gets tougher. Gonzalez came in as a late substitute and was going ten rounds for the first time. He came close to victory but instead gets goes to 1-3 in his last 4 fights.

Pena vs. Beltran

Pena derails Beltran’s comeback with close unanimous decision. Pena kept walking forward for the whole eighth rounds and digging in hurtful left hooks to the body. Beltran showed some flashes of his old form but generally he was the one breaking off the action and going backwards. He also failed to use his better skills and longer reach and was hampered by a cut over his left eye. Many rounds were close but Pena deserved the win and it looked a clearer win than the points indicated, Scores 77-76 twice and 77-75 for “Pineapple” Pena from Ensenada. A great display considering this was his first fight for 14 months and only his second in over two years. With a run of 3-7-1 in his last 11 fights he should not have had a chance against the 27-year-old Beltran a former IBF title challenger who only lost on a split decision against Roman Martinez for the vacant WBO super feather title. Beltran had taken a year out after a poor loss against Luis Sanchez but had scored wins in December and last June. He needs to do better than this if he is to have a future.

 

Atizapan de Zaragoza, Mexico: Super Bantam; Rey Vargas (28-0) W TKO 5 Alex Munoz (38-7). Bantam: Felipe Orucuta (32-4) W TKO 4 Yader Cardoza (20-9-1).

Vargas vs. Munoz

Vargas destroys an over the hill Muniz in five brutal rounds. Munoz came out firing in the first round. Vargas had huge edges in height and reach so Muniz was looking to take the fight to the Mexican get in close and work to the body.  That storm quickly blew itself out and Vargas was using his jab and rights to score. In the second round three quick left hooks had Muniz staggering and Vargas stepped in with a right uppercut that put Muniz down on his backside propped up against the ropes. He beat the count but was floored again and only just made it to the bell. The punishment continued in the third. Munoz managed to stay on his feet but was floored again by a right in the fourth. Again he survived but in the fifth a couple of body punches hurt Munoz and as he went back a long right to the chin sent him crashing to the canvas and the referee immediately stopped the fight. It was too easy for the tall slim 25-year-old WBC No 1. He makes it 22 wins by KO/TKO and collects the WBC International Silver title. Despite his high ratings there are no rated or top level fighters in his list of victims so he is largely untested. The balding Munoz is 37 and looked every one of his years. He earned his “El Explosivo” nickname by setting a national record of 23 wins by KO/TKO at the start of his career which included winning and defending the WBA super fly title in 2002. He lost his title to Martin Castillo in his fourth defence but went on to regain the title with a victory over Nobuo Nashiro in 2007 before losing to WBA champion Cris Mijares in a unification match in 2008. Losses to Koki Kameda, Leo Santa Cruz and Genesis Servania followed and he was inactive from October 2014 until returning with a low level win in April this year.

Orucuta vs. Cardoza

Orucuta returns to action and has too much skill and power for Nicaraguan Cardoza. Orucuta had big advantages in height and reach and as Cardoza bulled forward trying to get inside Orucuta speared him with jabs and right hand counters. Cardoza kept coming but Orucuta also had the power. In the second the referee deducted a point from Cardoza for a punch to the back of the head as Orucuta continued to hand out punishment. Cardoza did well to survive the third as he was trapped on the ropes for much of the round as Orucuta poured on hooks and uppercuts. It was all over in the fourth. Orucuta marched forward just letting his punches flow. Hooks and uppercuts drove Cardoza back to the ropes and as the storm of punches continued Cardoza slumped down with only the bottom rope stopping him from hitting the canvas and the referee waived the fight over. First fight for nine months and first fight in the town of his birth for the 30-year-old Orucuta. The 30-year-old “Gallito” went 27-1 in his first 28 fights before losing two very controversial decision to Omar Narvaez for the WBO super fly title. A disappointing retirement loss to Jose Cayetano in December saw him take nine months out. Cardoza had lost on points to Adrian Hernandez for the WBC light fly title in 2013 but he had won 5 of his last 6 fights.

 

Rosario, Argentina: Super Bantam: Julian Aristule (32-6) W PTS 10 Alan Luques Castillo (18-5).  Aristule retains his Argentinian and wins the vacant WBO Latino title with split decision over Luques, but really there were no winner here. The fighters knew each other’s style and strengths and weaknesses and cancelled each other out making it a poor, boring fight with too much holding. Luques made the better start and did enough with a sharp jab and some straight rights to take 3 of the first 4 four rounds. After that Aristule took over and did what little clean scoring there was. He dominated the late rounds and looked a clear winner. Scores 96-94 twice for Aristule and 96-94 for Luques  The 33-year-old Aristule has won 8 in a row now. Luques, 25, the Argentinian No 2, had won 4 of his last 5 fights and was the interim WBO Latino champion. Both will want to forget this one.

 

Montreal, Canada: Super Middle: Erik Bazinyan (14-0) W PTS 10 Aro Schwartz (11-2). Canadian prospect Bazinyan moves up to ten rounds and wins the vacant WBO Youth title with wide unanimous decision over German Schwartz. Bazinyan was in control from the start. He constantly pierced the German’s guard with a stiff jab and slotted home strong right crosses. The only down side was his failure to halt Schwartz but with a cut over his right eye he boxed more cautiously on his way to winning every round. Scores 100-90 from all three judges for Bazinyan. The 21-year-old from the Groupe Yvon Michel team is moving along nicely and there is no reason to rush him.  The only loss for the 22-year-old Schwartz was a ten round decision against world rated Dominik Britsch (30-2-1) in December for the BDB version of the German title and he had scored 4 quick wins this year.

 

Wigan, England: Super Welter: Sean Lewis (6-1-1) W PTS 10 Adam Ismail (9-2). Super Feather: Anthony Cacace (14-0) W RTD 1 Jamie Quinn (2-29-2). Bantam: Ryan Farrag (16-2) W PTS 4 Elvis Guillen (9-24-4,1ND).

Lewis vs. Ismail

An injury to Ismail’s original opponent saw Lewis promoted to the main event. “The Ginger Haired Mexican” took full advantage of the chance to win a very close decision and the Central Area title. The contrasting style, Lewis an aggressive body puncher and Ismail a rangy southpaw stylist with good skills made it both a close and an exciting fight. They each had periods of dominance and it was close enough to have gone to any fighter but Lewis just took by 96-95 on the referee’s card. First ten round fight and second win for Lewis after being out of the ring for over two years. Ismail was also going ten rounds for the first time but has now lost his last two fights. This one begs a return.

Cacace vs. Quinn

Cacace gets quick win on return to the ring. The Belfast southpaw landed a hard left early in the fight which had Quinn in pain and at the end of the round Quinn retired with a suspected broken jaw. First fight for 11 months for 27-year-old former top amateur Cacace and first fight under new trainer Brian Magee. He could have done with a few more rounds of work but will be kept busy. Twelve losses in a row for Quinn but first loss by KO/TKO and that coming by way of injury.

Farrag vs. Guillen

Farrag returns for the first time since losing his European title to Karim Guerfi in June as he wins every round against Spanish-based Nicaraguan Guillen. The referee saw it 40-36. The 28-year-old from Liverpool is looking to get back into high level fights to regain the world rating the loss to Guerfi cost him. Now 13 losses in a row for Guillen who is 0-6 in fights over here.

 

Doncaster, England: Super Feather: Chris Conwell (9-1) W TKO 6 Lee Appleyard (8-2). Light: Josh Morgan (6-1-1) W PTS 10 Steven Hale (9-1).

Conwell vs. Appleyard

Conwell wins vacant BBB of C Central Area title with stoppage of local fighter Appleyard. It was a good hard fight with Conwell having to get past the longer reach of Appleyard. Conwell broke through in the sixth flooring Appleyard and forcing the stoppage. The 30-year-old Manchester fighter had not gone past four rounds before and this counts as he best win by a long way. Appleyard, 28 had won his last five fights and can rebound.

Morgan vs. Hale

Morgan wins vacant BBB of C Central area title with paper thin points win over Hale. Before the fight Hale was talking about wanting to win the title and then retire. He came close with the referee scoring it 96-95 to Morgan so perhaps Hale will stay around for a return. Morgan was moving up from four rounds and is now 2-1-1 in his last 4 fights. “Nailer” Hale had a bit more experience although he too was moving up but from 6 to 10.

 

Phoenix, AZ, USA: Feather: Francisco De Vaca (16-0) W PTS 8 Jose Estrella (15-12-1). Feather: Carlos Castro (16-0) W TKO 1 Jorge Diaz 18-5-1).

De Vaca vs. Estrella

De Vaca rolls on as he wins every round against fellow Mexican Estrella. De Vaca continues to show improvement. He controlled the fight well being quicker and more accurate than Estrella. Despite not doing enough to win any rounds Estrella showed some good defence and gave De Vaca some useful work. Scores 80-72 from all three judges. Phoenix-based De Vaca, 21, is the NABF Junior champion. Now 7 losses in his last 8 fights for Estrella.

Castro vs. Diaz

Castro also goes to 16 wins but gets the job done much quicker. He came out firing and did not give Diaz a chance to get into the fight. He had Diaz backing up and hurt and just kept punching until the referee stepped in to save Diaz. Now 7 wins by KO/TKO for 22-year-old Castro who in theory was moving up to eight rounds. Diaz has fallen off the cliff. He was 17-1 in his first 18 fights with the defeat being on points against world rated Teon Kennedy for the USBA title. He then went 1-3-1 against good level opposition and this fight was his first in 13 months after that bad run.

 

San Antonio, TX, USA: Welter: Darwin Price (11-0) W TKO 7 Javonta Starks (13-2). Super Light: Kent Cruz (11-0) W PTS 8 Rickey Edwards (11-0). Middle: Junior Castillo (11-1) W PTS 6 Josue Ovando (14-11-1).

Price vs. Starks

Price gets good win over Starks. After a couple of rounds of action from both fighters Price took over in the third as he landed two lefts and a hard right which put Starks down. Starks had rust to shed so this probable knocked some off. Price continued to get the better of the exchanges. In the seventh he again used that two jabs/hard right combination to stun Starks and pounded away until the referee halted the fight. The tall 27-year-old winner from Houston was coming off a good win over Semajay Thomas in June. Thomas is a former US national champion and Starks also won the US national title and a silver medal at the NGG’s. Price collect a US National silver so two good wins for Price over guys who did better in the amateur ranks. First fight for 27-year-old Starks since losing a close decision to unbeaten Samuel Figueroa in October.

Cruz vs. Edwards

Cruz wins this battle of unbeaten fighters. A knockdown in the second round put Cruz in charge but Edwards fought hard to try to hold onto his unbeaten tag but lost the unanimous decision. Scores 77-73 twice and 77-74. Both were up at eight rounds for the first time

Castillo vs. Ovando

Dominican Castillo gets back into the winning column with points win over Mexican Ovando. Southpaw Castillo won clearly but Ovando made him work hard for victory. Scores 58-56 twice and 60-54 with the last not reflecting how hard Castillo had to work. The 30-year-old Junior was a regular in the DR amateur teams competing at the World Championships and losing to Anthony Ogogo at the 2012 Olympics. He had won his first 8 pro fights by KO/TKO but was floored twice in losing a wide unanimous verdict against Justin DeLoach in June. Ovando has lost 6 of his last 7 fights but the win was an eighth round kayo of Ronald Hearns in October!

 

September 4

 

Zama, Japan: Super Fly: Naoya Inoue (11-0) W KO 10 Petchbarngborn (38-8-1). Super Fly: Takuma Inoue (8-0) W PTS 10 Froilan Saludar (23-2-1). Welter: Koki Inoue (5-0) W TKO 2 Heri Andriyanto (22-23-2). Super Feather: Satoshi Shimizu (1-0) W KO 5 In-Kyu Lee (3-3).

Inoue vs. Petchbarngborn

Inoue retains WBO title as he outclasses brave but limited Thai. Inoue was on target from the start. He was threading stiff jabs through Petchbarngborn’s guard and firing home hooks to the body. Petchbarngborn attacked with a couple of combinations but Inoue seemed to shake the Thai with a right and finished the opening round with a series of quick punches to head and body. Inoue had his jab in the challengers face for the whole of the second round. Once again Petchbarngborn had some success with a series of hooks but again he paid for that as Inoue battered him with hooks and uppercuts and a right seemed to hurt Petchbarngborn. Inoue varied things in the third. At first he stayed in the pocked and fired home lightning quick hooks and uppercuts with his favourite being a right to the head and a full leverage left hook to the body. Petchbarngborn kept coming but he was eating punches. Inoue was playing with Petchbarngborn in the fourth. He fought much of the round as a southpaw, was dancing in and out landing quick, light punches before Petchbarngborn could defend or counter and ended the round with a flourish of hard shots to head and body. The fifth was painful to watch as Inoue banged home a whole series of rights to the head. He then went back to the jab and added hooks, uppercuts and straight rights but the Thai just walked through it all soaking up punishment but punching back. The sixth again saw Inoue have a period of showcasing his skills and a spell of toe-to-toe stuff that saw him scoring with rights to the head but also allowing Petchbarngborn his best spell so far as he landed clumping head punches of his own. In the seventh and eighth it was almost exhibition stuff for Inoue as he was dancing around the Thai who had no defence or chance to counter the hand speed and the movement of the champion. The ninth again saw Inoue mixing his approach. He spent the early part of the round going-to-to-toe and the last two minutes dancing around the static Thai using only his left jab and not even trying to throw his right which he later said he had injured. Inoue ended it in the tenth. He suddenly cut loose with a storm of punches. Petchbarngborn’s head was being rocked time and again and the sheer volume of punches overwhelmed him until a straight right saw him go down on his haunches. He struggled to his feet but the referee decided he was just too late to beat the count. The 23-year-old Japanese “Monster” has speed, skill and power and was hugely impressive here. Admittedly Petchbarngborn was made for him and a fight with either Roman Gonzalez or Carlos Cuadras would be a different proposition but I would not rule out an Inoue win. His next target is likely to be a unification match with new WBA champion Luis Concepcion. Petchbarngborn’s record is deceiving. There are no “names” on it and he has been fed a diet of second rate imports. All he really showed here was strength and guts.

Inoue vs. Saludar

This one started badly for Inoue as a straight right from Saludar in the first round put Inoue down. He was up quickly and after the eight count he frustrated Saludar’s attempts to capitalise on the knockdown. The fight settled down after that dramatic start. Saludar looked much the bigger fighter and the stronger but Inoue had speed of hand and foot on his side and was generally getting his punches off first. The Japanese fighter was the one pressing the action and Saludar was looking to counter the youngsters aggression but without a lot of success. Inoue took the fight over completely in the fifth. He was scoring with thumping left hooks to the body and blindingly fast combinations and for a while it looked as though Saludar was ready to go but he rallied and moved more in the sixth and seventh and with Inoue finding it hard to pin him down those were close rounds. Saludar again boxed cleverly for much of the eighth only for a straight right from Inoue sending the Filipino staggering forward and down on his knees. He took advantage of the eight count and the bell went just as the referee was wiping his gloves. It was a similar story in the ninth with Saludar starting well but then he rapidly tired and his work became ragged and Inoue dropped him with a combination and again the bell rang at the end of the eight count. Inoue boxed his way through the tenth and emerged a clear winner. Scores 97-90 twice and 96-91 all for Inoue. The 20-year-old younger brother of Naoya has the family speed but Naoya just does everything that much better and carries more power. Inoue may now challenge Filipino Marlon Tapales for the WBO bantam title although he is currently only rated No 11 at super fly by them. “Sniper” Saludar’s only other loss was a two round stoppage by McWilliams Arroyo in 2014. He had won four fights since then but this was his first fight for a year. He is a tough fighter with a good punch and a decent opponent for any fighter at his weight.

Inoue vs. Andriyanto

Yes yet another Inoue. This one is a cousin of the Inoue brothers. The 24-year-old southpaw was too quick and hit too hard for Indonesian Andriyanto. A right hook put Andriyanto down in the second and although he made it to his feet the fight was stopped. Inoue who won a silver medal at the Japanese Championships won his first three fights all inside a round. Seventh loss by KO/TKO for Andriyanto.

Shimizu vs. Lee

Olympian Shimizu makes a belated entry to the pro ranks with inside the distance win. The very tall Japanese fighter floored Lee in the first and fourth rounds before ending the one-sided fight with a body punch in the fifth. The 30-year-old Shimizu competed at the 2008 Olympics but turned down pro offers to try for a medal in 2012. He won the bronze medal beating current hot Ghanaian prospect Isaac Dogboe but losing to eventual gold medallist Luke Campbell. He had been fighting at lightweight but decided to go down in weight but since the AIBA had abandoned the feather division so he competed at bantam in London. Must have been a struggle as he is 5’10 ½” (179cm). He also represented Japan at the 2007 and 2011 World Championships. First loss inside the distance for Lee.