Monster Inoue to take on Thailand’s Dipaen

Photos: Boxing Beat

Mendez to defend WBO 105lb belt against Taniguchi

By Joe Koizumi

Ohashi Promotions on Friday announced a world title twinbill in Tokyo, Japan, on December 14. WBA/IBF bantamweight champion “The Monster” Naoya Inoue (21-0, 18 KOs) will put his belts on the line against Thailand’s hard-puncher Aran Dipaen (12-2, 11 KOs) in the main event. For Inoue, it will be the first time to appear here in Japan since his grueling fight with Nonito Donaire in November 2019. Dipaen, IBF Pan Pacific 118-pound titlist, previously fought in Japan and impressively dispatched Ryohei Arakawa in two quick rounds in 2019.

On the same bill, WBO 105-pound champion Wilfredo Mendez (16-1, 6 KOs), Puerto Rico, will defend his belt against WBO#1 Masataka Taniguchi (14-3, 9 KOs) over twelve frames. Taniguchi once had an ambitious shot at the WBO belt against Filipino Vic Saludar, losing a unanimous nod in February 2019. It was from Saludar that Mendez won the same belt in San Juan six months later. It will be a competitive confrontation of southpaws.

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  • Monster looks to be the future of boxing in his division/divisions. Wouldn’t say he’s better than Manny Pacquiao like stoner Mike Tyson recently said but time will tell.

  • Monster is my pound for pound number one to date, really the greatest fighter out of Japan ever..

  • It was a great experience to be at the Dasmarinas fight where he took just a minute to analyze him then quickly dismantle him. This fight will be another easy one for Inoue. It’s a cash grab in the Christmas season, the biggest time of year for Japanese champions, usually fighting at home. All the Christmas and New Years Eve/variety shows will highlight the fights, or have him on as a guest. So that must explain why he’s fighting the #55 guy. It will be a highlight reel KO, but at least his opponent has a very high KO % as well.

  • The only question is whether Inoue stops him with a liver blast, or puts him to sleep with a counter left ho.

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