Naoya Inoue, the Japanese boxing sensation, continues to dominate the global boxing scene. Standing tall as a force to be reckoned with. Having clinched the undisputed super bantamweight title last December. He cemented his position as the only fighter, after Terence Crawford, to achieve this feat twice in the four-belt era. In a recent interview, Inoue opened up about a unique insight into his fights against American opponents.
The Unseen Struggle Against Fulton
While Inoue’s victory over Marlon Tapales granted him historic glory. His clash with Stephen Fulton last year proved to be a challenging bout. The fight, which could have derailed Inoue’s path, showcased his resilience and determination. In a candid discussion, Inoue shared his reflections on the demanding journey.
A Puncher’s Preference: American Boxers’ Achilles Heel?
In an exclusive conversation, the 30-year-old champion unveiled an intriguing detail about his bout against Fulton. In July 2023, Inoue claimed the WBC and WBO titles from Fulton in a compelling eighth-round technical knockout. The revelation? American boxers, according to Inoue, don’t particularly fancy punches to the face.
Inoue delved into his experience, stating, “I don’t know if it’s because he’s American, but he doesn’t like getting punched in the face. Their boxing style is different from Japanese fighters who fight with Yamato Damashii (Japanese spirit). Well, I think some fighters in the U.S. fight like that, but probably not many.”
Reading the Opponent: Inoue’s Fight IQ
Inoue’s ability to sense and interpret his opponent’s thoughts during a fight adds another layer to his boxing prowess. He explained, “I could pretty much sense [what he wanted to do]. I try to get a sense of how my opponent feels and what he thinks about my boxing ability in the first round. I thought Fulton’s facial expressions showed it clearly.”
Cool Boy Steph’s Surprise: Inoue’s Jab Mastery
Addressing the question of whether Fulton was intimidated in the initial rounds, Inoue provided an analytical perspective. “I wouldn’t say intimidated, but I felt like he became cautious. I think he was surprised that I didn’t lose the exchange of jabs in the first round. My jab was as good as his, if not better,” he remarked.
Inoue’s Plans for 2024: Featherweight Beckons
Looking ahead, Inoue has ambitious plans for 2024. The undefeated Japanese fighter has faced a myriad of skilled opponents. Expressed his desire to move up to the featherweight division. As fans speculate on his next move, Naoya Inoue’s journey promises more electrifying moments in the ring.
Mia’s Take: Unmasking the American Boxing Style
Inoue’s revelation sparks curiosity about the nuances of American boxing. Is there truly a distinct aversion to face punches among American fighters? While the comment is subjective, it sheds light on the diverse styles and preferences in the boxing world. Inoue’s keen insight into his opponents’ psychology adds an intriguing element to his already captivating career.