By Joe Koizumi
Photos by Naoki Fukuda
Unbeaten Japanese southpaw, “The Monster” Naoya Inoue’s cousin Koki Inoue (14-0, 11 KOs), 140, successfully retained his Japanese super lightweight belt as he decked #8 Ryuji Ikeda (14-6-3, 9 KOs), 139.75, in the second and third rounds and finally halted him with the referee’s intervention at 0:34 of the fifth round on Monday in Tokyo, Japan.
Koki, 27, captured the national belt by a unanimous decision over defending champ Valentine Hosokawa here this April, and made his initial defense with ease. Koki, a tall and sturdy lefty, overpowered and outpunched the overmatched challenger, decked him with a southpaw left in the second and with a right hook in the third—taking a complete control of the contest. Having him badly staggering backward with a solid left, the ref called a well-received halt to save the loser in the fatal fifth.