Inoue-Hernandez Support

By Matt McGrain on April 2, 2014
Inoue-Hernandez Support
Sunday in Tokyo, Japan, it’s a veritable smorgasbord of varied and brilliant fistic delights.

Boxing’s main attraction this weekend comes from Tokyo, Japan and is contested between 5-0 wunderkind Naoya Inoue and brutal Mexican Adrian Hernandez. That the fight is one that has been generally ignored in the West is strange not least because of the supporting card. Simply put, it is almost certain that there will not be a gathering of more world-class fighters anywhere on the planet this year.

Roman Gonzalez will be there. Gonzalez has flitted in and out of the pound-for-pound top ten but there is a strong sense that he will buck the recent trend that has seen flyweight giants Ivan Calderon, Giovani Segura and Brian Viloria break into the absolute elite before being disastrously beaten by supposedly inferior opposition. In pursuit of recognition in a third division as well as the riches promised the smallest of fighters in Japan, Gonzalez is determined to buck that trend. Certainly it would be astonishing if he lost to 11-4-1 Filipino Juan Purisima who stitched together three wins against middling opposition before dropping a decision last time out to 7-0 prospect Artem Dalakain. He is by no stretch of the imagination in El Chocolatito’s class and a win for the Nicaraguan should be routine.

But other, more dangerous possibilities lie in his immediate future.

“The idea is to try to win in order to pursue a possible matchup against WBC champion [Akira] Yaegashi.”

In fact, the match is supposedly all but made. A win for Gonzalez would be the second to last piece in the puzzle, the final matter being Yaegashi himself, who also appears on the card. He meets Mexican Odilon Zaleta who at 15-3 provides little more than a workout for the true King of the flyweight division, at least on paper. For once, however, soft contests are to be welcomed for these two who will provide a legitimately monumental clash in August, all going to plan. After that a match between the winner of Gonzalez-Yaegashi and Kazuto Ioka, a recent and rather welcome addition at flyweight, becomes a distinct possibility, although Gonzalez might prefer to meet Juan Francisco Estrada in a rematch of their 2012 contest, which went down well in the US.

The next generation of fighters under 112 lbs. will be watching carefully, not least Naoya Inoue’s younger brother, Takuma, who is also in action against the much more experienced Thai, Fahalan Sakkreerin. Fahalan’s 23-2 record dwarfs Takuma’s 2-0 and his knockout of previously unbeaten prospect Ryo Miyazaki (then 20-0-3) in just three rounds last time out makes this match an enormous risk, perhaps a genuine miscalculation. Like Naoya, Takuma is held in such high regard that he will be favored to win at bell.

Finally, Japanese bantamweight prospect Ryo Matsumoto (9-0) meets Hiroyuki Hisataka (22-11-1) and featherweight prospect Yuki Ogata (19-0-1) faces Satoshi Hosono (24-2-1) in pursuit of the Japanese national title.

It’s a veritable smorgasbord of varied and brilliant fistic delights that likely decides the immediate fate of the true flyweight title.

Miss it at your peril.

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  1. Rick 09:23am, 04/04/2014

    Thanks guys. I figured as much. Its a shame the smaller guys don’t get any exposure here in the states. If its a good matchup I couldn’t care less if they weigh 160 or 106. Some of these bigger guys could learn a few things from the little guys.

  2. Ted 05:49am, 04/04/2014

    No US TV

  3. Koolz 04:12am, 04/04/2014

    pretty sure it won’t be on televised in the US.  wait a day and look for the fights on allthebestfights website.  It will be hard for most people to see the fights live even though there are tons of web pages streaming in it live.


  4. Rick 07:22pm, 04/03/2014

    Will this be televised in the U.S?

  5. Ted 04:44pm, 04/03/2014

    I sure hope so. But it will have to be in Tokyo and not Osaka.

  6. Koolz 03:12pm, 04/03/2014

    Do you really think Gonzalez and Ioka are going to fight?  I thought they were going to fight back in 2013!!!! 
    I consider these weight classes to be some of the most exciting.  Ioka is truly amazing, he can just stand in front of someone and dip around all there punches all night, he is just so good!
    he also hits very hard.

    Inoua just does things you don’t even see any boxers do. 

  7. Ted 05:44pm, 04/02/2014

    Given changing weights, Kazuto Ioka is a premier Flyweight boxer and a former unified Minimumweight champion holding the WBA and WBC titles and is a former WBA Light flyweight champion, therefore becoming a two-division World champion.

    BoxRec lists Gonzalez as a flyweight. It lists Ioka as a light flyweight. Next month, he will be fighting Amnat Ruenroeng as a flyweight. That sets the stages for the very best fight out there in my opinion and that’s Ioka vs Gonzalez each of whom will demolish their next opponents.

  8. Ted 05:37pm, 04/02/2014

    Roman Gonzalez is worth the price of admission to any fight he is in.

    Serious boxing fans know what collision courses are in the offing in Japan.

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