The Great Country Of Japan Now Owns The 118 And 122 Pound Divisions!

By James Slater - 05/07/2024 - Comments

Talk about a clean sweep. A heck of a hugely impressive clean sweep. Right now, one country can make the claim of having hold of all the gold in two weight divisions. Japan – where the sport of boxing is really and truly buzzing today – now lays claim to all four major world titles at bantamweight, and at super-bantamweight.

Naoya Inoue, we know, gave us one of his most exciting and explosive, yet at the same time utterly commanding ring performances yesterday, this inside a rocking (to the tune of well over 50,000 fans) Tokyo Dome. “The Monster” had to get up off the floor for the first time in his career to do it, but Inoue duly got back into his lethal groove and he demolished a very good fighter in Luis Nery.

Inoue has been the holder of all four belts at 122 since December of 2023, when he stopped Marlon Tapales to add the WBA and the IBF super-bantamweight titles to the WBC and WBO belts he had won the previous July. Inoue left the bantamweight division, and he left it thoroughly cleaned out, with the future Hall of Famer, and almost certain claimant of all-time great status, becoming a four-weight champ.

The biggest star in Japan left room for other fighters to pick up the spoils, and as it has turned out, it has been four Japanese fighters who have laid claim to the 118 pound belts that were left vacant.

And we sure have seen some special talent go about scooping up the bantamweight gold. On Monday’s big Tokyo Dome card, we saw Yoshiki Takei upset Jason Moloney to take the final missing piece in Japan’s bantamweight collection; the former kickboxer defeating Moloney – and really having to hang on in the later rounds to defeat Moloney – to take the WBO belt.

Takei, at just 9-0, joins his countrymen, Takuma Inoue, who holds the WBA title, Junto Nakatini, who holds the WBC strap, and Ryosuke Nishida, who is the current IBF ruler at bantamweight.

Together, these, shall we call them the, ‘Japanese Four Kings,’ hold it all. And it really will take some effort from any fighter, wherever he is from, to take the belts away.

Again, boxing is buzzing in Japan, mostly due to the awesome and so great to watch “Monster” Inoue. But since when has one country ruled not one, but two weight divisions, with no less than eight world titles proudly displayed under its flag?

Inoue is perfect at 27-0. The younger Inoue is 20-1. Nakatini in unbeaten at 27-0. Nishida is undefeated at 9-0. And Takei is also unblemished at 9-0.

Talk about near-perfection. And total dominance by a great and proud, not to mention hard-working country.

Can anyone defeat Naoya? Is the younger Inoue set for a long reign as WBA bantamweight champ? How about Nakatini, Takei and Nishida? To repeat, it will take some very good fighters to dethrone the current all-dominating Japanese kings!