In what could be his last fight as a super flyweight, Naoya Inoue did not disappoint in his return to the Japanese boxing ring.
Inoue, the WBO super flyweight champion, retained his title with a quick, three-round demolition of challenger Yoan Boyeaux at the Bunka Gym in Yokohama.
Inoue displayed his dominant power from the start of the fight, knocking down Boyeaux with a stiff counter-left hook to Boyeaux’s jaw, laying the challenger flat on his back throughout most of the 10 count before getting back up.
Boyeaux tried to mount a comeback, but his punches didn’t leave an impact on Inoue, barely landing on the champion. Inoue continued his offensive barrage in the third round, pressuring Boyeaux to drop to one knee on two separate occasions. Inoue scored the knockout midway through the third round, forcing referee Raul Caiz Jr. to put a stop to the contest, giving Inoue the win.
Despite Inoue getting the win and retaining his title, it is likely the last time the champion will get to fight at super flyweight. Days before the fight, Inoue posted on social media that he would be making a move up in weight, likely to bantamweight, after failing to close a deal with WBA super flyweight champion Kal Yafai to unify the titles.
With the move up to bantamweight, Inoue will most likely get a title shot in his first fight. WBO rules allow for Inoue to vacate his title and then get mandatory challenger status for the next weight up, meaning Inoue will probably fight the winner of the Zolani Tete vs. Omar Narvaez fight set to take place in January. Inoue is already a two-division world champion after holding the WBC light flyweight title in 2014.