Naoya Inoue defends against Aran Dipaen on Dec.14th in Japan

By Jeff Sorby - 10/21/2021 - Comments

IBF/WBA bantamweight champion Naoya ‘Monster’ Inoue (21-0, 18 KOs) will be making a voluntary defense against #6 IBF Aran Dipaen (12-2, 11 KOs) on December 14th in Japan.

The International Boxing Federation has listed this odd fight for the 28-year-old Inoue, and it’s difficult to understand what the 30-year-old Dipaen did for him to be given a title shot. This would be an excellent fight if Inoue were coming off a significant injury or something, but not as a routine voluntary defense.

There are too many more deserving continues in the 118-lb division that Inoue could be fighting to bring in better ratings on ESPN.

This fight is eleven days before Christmas, so perhaps that’s the reason why Inoue is being tossed an Horderve instead of a meat & potatoes opponent. December 14th is closed to the holiday, so maybe Inoue wants to take it easy by fighting a lesser guy, so he doesn’t have to train hard.

Inoue vs. Dipaen will likely be shown on the ESPN+ app, which makes a terrible choice if Top Rank wants to bring in new subscribers.

Fans were hoping to see ‘Monster’ Inoue face WBC 118-lb champion Nonito Donaire in a unification fight or WBO champion John Riel Casimero.

Those guys are world champions and household names in the sport. Unfortunately, you can’t say that about Dipaen.

He’s a total unknown, and it’s a strange decision on the part of Inoue’s management to select him rather than one of the dozen more recognizable fighters in the bantamweight division.

Unless there’s some agreement between Inoue and Dipaen’s promoters, this fight doesn’t make any sense at all. Dipaen has fought largely terrible opposition throughout his two-year professional career in his native Thailand.

I can’t imagine Top Rank picking Dipaen out themselves for ‘Monster’ Inoue to destroy on December 14th. There’s nothing to gain by Top Rank matching Inoue against a fighter that U.S fans have never heard of before.

Naoya Inoue defends against Aran Dipaen on Dec.14th in Japan

This is a step down for the 28-year-old Inoue from some of the more compelling fights he’s had recently with wins over Michael Dasmarinas, Jason Maloney, Nonito Donaire, Emmanuel Rodriguez, and Juan Carlos Payano.

Aran Dipaen’s recent wins:

  • Sukpraserd Ponpitak (27-12, 19 KOs)
  • Sapia Pohasae (0-2)
  • Mochamad Sholimin (5-10-1, 4 KOs)
  • Wisitsak Saiwaew (7-12-1, 6 KOs) x 2
  • Jomar Fajardo (17-18-2, 9 KOs)

It’s doubtful that most boxing fans have heard of any of those guys, and in looking at their records, it’s no wonder. What has Dipaen been doing fighting opposition like this? What’s the point.

His fight against Pohasae was the guy’s debut, and that match was last December with Dipaen destroying him in the first round.