Traditionally, as plenty of us, shall we say, hardcore fight fans know, there is always a huge night of boxing in Japan on New Year’s Eve. There still might be here in 2023, this as the bell tolls on another 12 months.
But for now, we have a great fight to look forward to in Tokyo on November 15 – Nov. 15 being a Wednesday. Takuma Inoue, far more than just Naoya Inoue’s kid brother, will face Filipino favourite and former IBF junior-bantamweight champ Jerwin Ancajas.
This, fans of the little guys of the sport, is one to look forward to.
Inoue, 18-1(4) – no, he’s nothing like the brutal puncher his brother, “The Monster” is, but so what – announced on social media that the fight between himself and Ancajas is all done. 27 year old Inoue scooped up his bro’s vacated WBA bantamweight belt with a solid win over Liborio Solis back in April, and now the lesser celebrated Inoue will make his maiden defence against the 34-3-2(23) Ancajas.
Southpaw Ancajas, who is now 31, enjoyed a pretty lengthy reign as IBF super fly champ, with him racking up nine defences before he lost to Fernando Martinez (twice) in 2022. Since then, Ancajas has picked up a stoppage win over Wilner Soto, this in June, up at super-bantam.
Some people felt Ancajas was on his way to becoming one of the greats down below (as in weight-wise) and he still might be. Never stopped, Ancajas will not be at all intimidated in going to Japan to face Inoue. That said, Inoue will be the favourite to win on November 15. Inoue, beaten only by Nordine Oubaali in a fight that contested the WBC belt at 118 pounds, Inoue going down via UD in November of 2019 (on the card that saw “Monster” Inoue engage in the FOTY with Nonito Donaire), has won five in a row since. And Inoue is really growing in confidence, both as a fighter and as a champion.
This one, looking like an almost certain 12-rounder, will absolutely be worth tuning in for. But, hey, you, fellow hardcore fan, knew that as soon as the fight was announced, didn’t ya!
Pick: Inoue to win a close, at times grueling, always entertaining decision over Ancajas.