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.