Naoya Inoue Claims Top Spot In The Pound For Pound Rankings
Naoya Inoue is undoubtedly having one of the best moments of his life as his win over Nonito Donaire keeps reaping in rewards.
Inoue, 29, destroyed the former WBC title holder, Nonito Donaire, in just two rounds this past Tuesday in Saitama, Japan. With this win, the ‘Monster’ unified the 118 lb. division leaving no doubt in the minds of on-lookers that the Japanese superstar owns the division.
And just a few days later, Inoue was met with more sweet news, as he climbed to the top of the prestigious Ring’s P4P rankings, becoming the first Japanese national to achieve this feat. The Ring ratings panel gave the verdict in favor of Inoue with a margin of 5-4.
The current unified heavyweight champion, Oleksandr Usyk previously held the P4P king designation. The Ukrainian southpaw outclassed the British prodigy, Anthony Joshua on his way to the top. But as things stand, Usyk will drop to No.2 as he makes way for the new King, Inoue.
Inoue (23-0, 20 KOs) is unbeaten, and is the Ring, IBF, WBA and WBC bantamweight titleholder.
The Ring’s rating panel members gave the reasons why they think Inoue is the best fighter in the world right now.
“Nobody has done that to [Donaire,]” agreed long-time Ring contributor Anson Wainwright. “I’d like Inoue at number one. If Usyk is impressive in the rematch with [Anthony] Joshua, he might take back the number one spot, and if we get Crawford-[Errol] Spence, we may get the winner of that, but for now I like Inoue as the pound-for-pound king.”
Panel member Diego Morilla also shared the same views as Wainwright.
“I have been part of Team Usyk for a while, for a lot of reasons. But it is hard to deny that Inoue is the fighter every other fighter should aspire to be. ‘Fast,’ ‘crafty,’ and ‘always in great shape’ are understatements at this point,” quoted Morilla.
“And just as nobody questioned [Floyd] Mayweather’s unwillingness to travel abroad to get his belts before crowning him as the pound-for-pound king, I wouldn’t hold that against Inoue either. I support Inoue to jump to number one.” Morilla continued.
Inoue has given a new life to the sports of boxing in Asia, especially in Japan aspiring hundreds of teenagers to pursue boxing as a profession.