Who is Naoya Inoue? Boxing Record, Bio and Background



Who is Naoya Inoue? Boxing Record, Bio and Background

Although it's certainly impressive, taking a brief look at the Naoya Inoue boxing record doesn't do justice to how elite of a boxer Inoue actually is. Although “The Monster” boasts an undefeated record and holds a knockout ratio of 92%, one has to see him fight live in order to witness the otherworldly blend of timing, speed, and punching power that Inoue possesses; all of which make him a common response to the question of, “Who's the best pound-for-pound boxer on the planet?”

Yet, it's uncommon to see such incredible boxing talent come from Japan. For that reason, we wanted to take a deeper dive into the Naoya Inoue bio, better understand his beginnings, and how he ascended up boxing's pound-for-pound rankings — all prior to his Boxing Day fight against Marlon Tapales, which is just a few days away. 

Who is Naoya Inoue?

Naoya Inoue Bio

Naoya “The Monster” Inoue is a Japanese professional boxer who is 30 years old, and was born on April 10th, 1993. Naoya Inoue's boxing record as a professional is 25-0 with 22 KO's, and is currently the IBF, WBA, WBC, and WBO world super bantamweight champion. He has also won major titles in four weight classes. 

Inoue is currently ranked as the world's second best active pound for pound boxer by The Ring, Boxing Writers Association of America, Transnational Boxing Rankings Board (TBRB), ESPN, and fourth pound for pound by BoxRec.

Naoya Inoue is scheduled to defend his belts against Marlon Tapales on December 26th, 2023, in Japan. 

Naoya Inoue Background, Amateur Career

Naoya Inoue began boxing in his first year of elementary school because his father (and current trainer) was a boxer, and Inoue looked up to him. It didn't take Inoue long to prove that he had endless potential, as he won the Japanese Interscholastic Athletic Meeting and the Japanese Junior National Championships in 2009 — at just 16 years of age. 

In July 2011, Inoue won a gold medal in the 21st President's Cup in Indonesia. Yet, Inoue suffered a loss in the final at the 2012 Asian Boxing Olympic Qualification Tournament, just before turning pro. 

Inoue finished his amateur career with a boxing record of 75–6 (including 48 KO/TKOs).

Naoya Inoue Boxing Record (Professional)

Naoya Inoue turned professional in 2012, and won his debut against Filipino national champion Crison Omayao via fourth round knockout. 

In only his sixth professional bout, Inoue won the WBC light flyweight championship title during a dominant performance over Adrian Hernandez. Inoue's only defense of his light flyweight title came against Samartlek Kokietgym in September 2014, where he stopped Kokietgym in the 11th round. 

In November 2014, Inoue vacated his light flyweight title in order to challenge for the WBO junior bantamweight belt — which he claimed after a second round knockout of the champion, Omar Narvaez. 

Inoue continued to defend his junior bantamweight belt until 2018, when he challenged Jamie McDonnell for the WBA ‘Regular' bantamweight belt. Inoue ultimately knocked out McDonnell within one round, and therefore won the WBA ‘Regular' bantamweight belt.

Inoue vs. Donaire

Perhaps the most infamous fight of Inoue's career is when he fought four-weight world champion Nonito Donaire in November 2019, for the World Boxing Super Series final. In a thrilling, back and forth affair that left Inoue with a broken orbital bone and a broken nose, Inoue ultimately proved victorious; winning via unanimous decision with scores of 116–111, 117–109 and 114–113. The fight was later voted The Ring magazine Fight of the Year.

Inoue vs. Fulton

Inoue continued to amass defenses of his WBA ‘Regular' bantamweight belt until he got bored of that, and challenged world champion Stephen Fulton for the unified super bantamweight title in July 2023. Once more, Inoue proved dominant, defeating Fulton via TKO in the 8th round; becoming only the second-ever Japanese fighter to win major titles in four weight classes.

Naoya Inoue vs Marlon Tapales

Once Saudi Arabia's Day of Reckoning card on December 23rd comes to a close, all eyes of the boxing world will turn to Ariake Arena in Tokyo, Japan, on December 26th; where Naoya Inoue is scheduled to face off against Marlos Tapales — the unified WBA (Super) and IBF super bantamweight champion — for an undisputed title bout. 

The Naoya Inoue bio leaves zero doubt that “The Monster” will enter this massive fight as prepared as can be in order to emerge victorious once again. Per usual, Inoue is a gigantic favorite in this fight against Tapales (currently -1800 to win via DraftKings). Although there's a chance this Boxing Day bout could be the toughest test of Inoue's career to date. 

What's for certain is that Inoue is on a quest to prove that he's the world's best boxer, regardless of weight class. And so long as he continues to defeat world champions and compile title belts with relative ease, it's going to be difficult to deny that the pound for pound #1 spot should belong to Naoya Inoue. 

Grant Young is a sports writer from San Francisco. He has had two professional Muay Thai fights: he got knocked out in one, and got a knockout in the other. When it comes to his favorite fighters, it's Israel Adesanya, and then it's everyone else.