By Joe Koizumi
Photos by Naoki Fukuda
Unbeaten WBA bantamweight champion Naoya Inoue was named Japan’s Boxer of the Year by the Japan Boxing Commission (JBC) in association with the Japan Professional Boxing Association (JPBA), the union of club owners, and Sports Writers Club today (Friday) in Tokyo, Japan.
“Monster” Naoya displayed a quick demolition of Jamie McDonnell and Juan Carlos Payano—each in the opening session last year. Inoue said, “I’m happy to be able to respond to people’s expectations with my best performance. I wish to contribute to having boxing activated with my efforts.”
The Technique Award was rendered to undefeated three-class champ in just twelve pro bouts, WBO flyweight ruler Kosei Tanaka, who dethroned compatriot Sho Kimura last September.
The Award for Valuable Victory went to WBO junior light titleholder Masayuki Ito, who acquired the vacant throne by upsetting Christopher Diaz in Florida.
Naoya Inoue also was given Knockout Award.
Unbeaten Masayoshi Nakatani, who kept his OPBF belts on eleven occasions, received The Award for Efforts, and the Rookie Citation was delivered Japanese middleweight champ Kazuto Takesako.
The aforementioned Tanaka-Kimura title bout was named Fight of the Year.
The special award was given former WBC bantamweight champion Shinsuke Yamanaka, who defended his belt twelve times after a long reign of five years and nine months to his credit.
WBO junior flyweight champ Tsunami Tenkai was named the female Boxer of the Year. The female Fight of the Year was the WBO 105-pound title bout in which Etsuko Tada dethroned compatriot Kayoko Ebata. Tada, however, mistakenly had her championship belt forgotten in the train on her way to the ceremony and reported it to the lost and found. Take care, champ.