Opinion

Pound-for-pound the top 10 fighters in Japan today

Naoya Inoue
Our listing of the current top 10 Japanese fighters
  1. NAOYA INOUE
    One of the very best fighters in the sport – at any weight – “Monster” Inoue is excelling at bantamweight, having previously worn world titles at light-flyweight and super-flyweight. He is currently a unified 118lb king.
  2. KAZUTO IOKA
    A reigning four-weight world champion, WBO super-flyweight king Ioka is knocking on the door of the pound-for-pound top 10 following his spectacular stoppage victory over fellow Japanese star Kosei Tanaka last month.
  3. KOSEI TANAKA
    Prior to having his perfect record ruined by Kazuto Ioka, Tanaka had collected WBO belts at strawweight, light-flyweight and flyweight. Despite losing to Ioka, Tanaka played his part in a cracking Japanese derby.
  4. HIROTO KYOGUCHI
    Like Kazuto Ioka and Kosei Tanaka before him, Kyoguchi is sticking to the well-trodden path of rising through the lower weight classes, step by step. So far he has claimed world honours at strawweight and light-flyweight.
  5. KEN SHIRO
    Battling it out with Hiroto Kyoguchi at the summit of the light-flyweight category is Shiro. “The Amazing Boy” has made seven successful defences of his WBC crown since winning it close to four years ago.
  6. RYOTA MURATA
    Since boxing his way to an Olympic gold medal in 2012, Murata has gone on to cement himself as one of the professional game’s premier middleweights. He was recently elevated to full champion status by the WBA.
  7. RYOSUKE IWASA
    Seasoned southpaw Iwasa is a former IBF super-bantamweight belt-holder who has remained in contention at the elite end of the 122lb division since dropping his world title two-and-a-half years ago.
  8. TOMOKI KAMEDA
    Emanating from a renowned fighting family, the experienced Kameda is an ex-WBO bantamweight ruler who challenged for the WBC super-bantam strap last time out.
  9. JUNTO NAKATANI
    An exciting young southpaw who seemingly has a big future ahead of him, Nakatani stormed his way to the WBO flyweight championship by knocking out Giemel Magramo at the end of last year.
  10. MASAYOSHI NAKATANI
    No relation to the man above him on this list, Nakatani emerged victorious against Felix Verdejo via stoppage in one of the most action-packed fights of 2020. He also gave Teofimo Lopez some problems in their bout.

Read our report on the Ioka vs Tanaka showdown here

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