By: Nick Skok
Takuma Inoue gets his biggest test to date when he goes up against Filipino journeyman, Mark John Yap on September 11th at the Korakuen Hall in Tokyo. The winner automatically becomes the WBC’s number one ranked fighter in the bantamweight division. The title is currently vacant and a bit in flux as Nordine Oubaali was supposed to face Petch Sor Chitpattana for the vacant title last June but it never came to fruition. Chitpattana has since fought and won a stay-busy fight while recent calls to the WBC and both fighter’s managers have gone unanswered after rumors Chitpattana received a step-aside payment.
In any case, it’s no concern for Takuma, who looks to continue what he’s done since he turned pro in 2013 and that’s winning. He recently messaged me saying “I think I’ll be ok if I fight my fight and show him [John Yap] what I got!”
Takuma boasts an impressive (11-0, 3 knockouts) record, though he spent nearly a year on the inured list with a fractured right hand. That injury forced the budding pugilist to forgo an opportunity at WBO bantamweight gold. Since his return, he’s continued his winning ways and has been waiting patiently for his number to be called on again for championship glamor.
However, the bantamweight division has been picked up by the World Boxing Super Series for their elimination style tournament that boasts three of the division’s four champion’s. In other words, if Takuma had wanted a quicker opportunity it would’ve meant entering the tournament. Naoya, Takuma’s older brother, entered the tournament himself once it became apparent the super flyweight division wanted nothing to do with him. Naturally, Takuma decided not compete in order to avoid any potential clash with his brother.
With both Inoue brothers now preparing for their respective contests, they continue to train side by side. “I’m always training with my brother!” Considering the potential predicability of his upcoming foe’s fighting style Inoue (and his father Shingo who trains him) hasn’t seen any reason to make any drastic changes. “Training is going as usual.”
For Takuma, boxing is life. He’s on a strict diet and is thinking of the foods he can celebrate with after he’s victorious “My favorite foods to eat when I’m not training is grilled meat! During training it’s a lot of meat but prepared differently.”
Takuma isn’t concerned about the intricate details as much as he’s envisioning his upcoming bout and how it’ll play out. “September 11th I’ll definitely win! Is it ok to think like this?”
Yes, Takuma, it’s fine. Anybody who goes into a fight without those expectations is in the wrong business. He’s prepared, excited, literally hungry for victory, and ready to get his chance at claiming his first world title. Check him out, September 11th. We just might have two Inoue brothers holding bantamweight gold very soon if all goes according to plan.
Contact Nick Skok @NoSparring via Twitter