Naoya Inoue Wins Boxing’s Fighter Of The Year



By Miriam Onyango

Following his victory as Japan’s Boxer of the Year at the annual Japanese Boxing Commission and Sportswriters Club celebration in Tokyo, Naoya Inoue has once again been recognized with honors.

 

Boxing’s Fighter of the Year for many was the talented super bantamweight champion, also known as “The Monster,” who had an incredible 2023 thanks to his convincing victories over Marlon Tapales and Stephen Fulton.

 

With his victories against Fulton and Tapales, Inoue became the undisputed champion at super bantamweight after doing so at bantamweight. The 30-year-old is currently (26-0, 23 KOs) and is expected to face Luis Nery(35-1, 27KOs) in May. 

“I wish to keep winning until the end of my career,” said Inoue in media reports.

 

The battle between Inoue and Nyer will take place on an undisclosed day in May. Inoue has stated that he will be back at that time after defeating Marlon Tapales on December 26 in Toyko, Japan, which made him the undisputed world champion at two weights. 
 
The Japan Boxing Commission (JBC) and Japanese sports writers unanimously decided to present Inoue with the award. Inoue prevailed over Fulton in a unanimous decision in July, while Tapales continued into the tenth round in December, the same week Terence Crawford defeated Errol Spence in Las Vegas. 

 

After his convincing win against Tapales, Inoue, a 30-year old boxer, surprised everyone by declaring that he will stay at super-bantamweight, even though pre-fight projections had him moving up to featherweight. 

“I think super bantamweight is my weight division for now. So, 2024, I would like to show you myself as a super bantamweight in even more stronger form,” said Inoue. 

 

Other awards included Kenshiro Teraji, the WBC and WBA light flyweight champion, winning the Technique award for a second year in a row, and Inoue-Fulton winning Fight of the Year (global). 

Excellent Boxer awards were to Kazuto Ioka, Takuma Inoue, Ginjiro Shigeoka, and Yudai Shigeoka, while Junto Nakatani received the Valuable Victory award. Seiya Tsutsumi vs. Kazuki Anaguchi, the bout in which Anaguchi lost his life due to injuries incurred during the battle, was named the domestic battle of the Year.