“Monster” Inoue named Japan’s Boxer of the Year

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By Joe Koizumi
Photos by Naoki Fukuda

Undisputed world super bantam champion Naoya “The Monster” Inoue, who brilliantly conquered the four belts in just two bouts over Stephen Fulton and Marlon Tapales, was named Japan’s Boxing of the Year today (Monday) here in Tokyo, Japan. It was more than a unanimous decision—a shutout selection by our Sports Writers Association as well as the Japan Boxing Commission (JBC). It was the seventh acquisition (in six consecutive years) that Inoue was given the highest fistic award here in Japan. Naoya said, “I wish to keep winning until the end of my career.” We hope so.

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The other recipients of prestigious awards were as follows:

  • Technique: Kenshiro Teraji, WBC, WBA light flyweight ruler
  • Valuable victory: Junto Nakatani, WBO junior bantam titlist
  • Excellent boxers: WBA super fly kingpin Kazuto Ioka, WBA bantam champ Takuma Inoue, WBC minimum titleholder Yudai Shigeoka, IBF minimum titlist Ginjiro Shigeoka
  • Efforts: former Japanese bantam champ Seiya Tsutsumi
  • Knockout: Naoya Inoue
  • Rookie citation: Tenshin Nasukawa
  • Female Boxer of the Year: WBO junior bantam ruler Mizuki Hiruta
  • Fight of the Year (world): Naoya Inoue vs. Stephen Fulton
  • Fight of the Year (domestic): Seiya Tsutsumi vs. Kazuki Anaguchi (who unfortunately passed away after this grueling bout for the national bantam belt)
  • Best trainer: Shingo Inoue (the father of “Monster” Naoya and Takuma Inoue)


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  • Moved up in weight and stopped two unified champions – one of those was undefeated and the other had only lost one fight in like a decade.

    He was Japan’s fighter of the year. He was everyone’s fighter of the year.

    • Outside of Fulton nobody knows of any of the guys Inoue beat. You guys love drinking the Kool-Aid the media feeds you. He’s Japan’s Boxer of the year because he’s the only fighter making noise from Japan.
      He’s far from everyone’s fighter of the year. Spot-off Lucie!!!

      • He might not be known in the U.S but he is well known around the world, just like very few American boxers are known outside of the USA. Trust me I travel the globe “literally” and with the exception of a few European countries, the market for fighters above featherweight & maybe lightweight is small. Innue is the goods….Not everything revolves around America (US) and for the record I proudly served for 25 years. “Semper Fortis”!

  • He was the fighter of the year of the world not just in Japan
    Very amazing fighter
    I had as a fighters of the year 2023 To Terrace Crawford and inoue , but after inoue beat Marlon tapales Then that was the thinny slice to be the fighter of the year over Terrance Crawford.

  • Amazing and gifted and talented warrior, unlike most American fighters who bark but don’t bite and run with their tail between their legs.

    • There is no need to put down “most American fighters” uplift Inoue. Just say he’s talented and gifted.

    • If by American you mean the USA, I beg to differ. American born fighters come from all different races and ethnic groups, and most do bite…If you’re talking about nationality and flag then I, USS will be the first one to tell you that “these colors don’t run”!

  • Excellent choice for the Monster as fighter of the year.
    2 fights, and 2 dominant performances

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