Naoya Inoue Retains WBA/IBF Bantamweight Titles

Naoya Inoue (22-0, 19KOs) has knocked out Thailand’s Aran Dipaen in the eighth round to retain his WBA and IBF bantamweight titles at Kokugikan Arena in Tokyo.

With another title defense on his resume, Inoue has raised his stocks and can look forward to high-paying super fights.

Midway through the eighth round, the unbeaten three-division titlist sent Dipaen down to the canvas with a follow-up left hook. This forced referee Michiaki Someya to stop the contest immediately at 2:34.

Inoue was seemingly not excited to share the ring with Dipaen prior to the fight, but he had been waiting for two years for entertaining the home fans in Tokyo, so he did not retreat.

He had a far superior skill set and caliber walking into the contest. Inoue worked his jab and straight right hand from the beginning.

Dipaen was trying to outfox the champion by boxing from the outside, but he couldn’t make much use of his strategy.

This marked Inoue’s fifth overall defense of the IBF bantamweight title and fourth as a unified champion. He was last seen in action in Japan when he beat Philippine boxing legend Nonito Donaire in November 2019. The title unification showdown was held in Saitama.

As for Dipaen, Tuesday’s loss was his first major title fight.

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