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Are Naoya Inoue and Takuma Inoue Related?

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Are Naoya Inoue and Takuma Inoue Related?

Naoya Inoue and Takuma Inoue are two of the best boxers that have come out of Japan in the 21st century — and perhaps of all time.

And as their names would suggest, it's true that Naoya Inoue and Takuma Inoue are related. In fact, Takuma Inoue (11-0 / 3 KOs) is the younger brother of 4 division world champion, Naoya Inoue. Takuma was born in 1995 and is 28 years old, while his older brother Naoya Inoue was born in 1993 and is 31 years old. 

Let's discuss more about Japan's royal family of boxing, and unpack which of these Inoue brothers is better than the other. 

Naoya Inoue and Takuma Inoue Brothers

Naoya Inoue Background

Many people consider Naoya “The Monster” Inoue to be the best pound for pound boxer in the world. And watching Inoue's highlights makes it easy to see why no opponents have been able to defeat him. 

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

Naoya Inoue turned professional in 2012, and has since amassed an undefeated 26-0 professional record, which includes 23 victories by KO. He has held multiple world championships in four different weight classes, and is only the second male boxer in history (along with Terence Crawford) to be an undisputed champion in two weight classes in the modern four-belt era.

And his younger brother Takuma has been at his side throughout it all. 

Takuma Inoue Background

Takuma Inoue has held the WBA bantamweight title since April 2023. He previously challenged for the WBC interim bantamweight world title in 2019.

Takuma Inoue had his first professional fight in 2013, right after he had turned 18 years old. Despite being an underdog and expected to lose, Takuma won an impressive upset decision and showed that he could be a championship level boxer like his big brother in the future. 

After Takuma won the interim WBC championship belt in December 2018, he faced two time Olympian Nordine Oubaali in November 2019.

Ultimately, Oubaali proved to be too tough of a test for Takuma Inoue, who lost the fight by decision and suffered the first loss of his professional career. 

Yet, Takuma Inoue has since rebounded from that defeat, and won the vacant WBA bantamweight title in April 2023 — a belt which his older brother Naoya once owned — after winning a unanimous decision against former WBA super flyweight champion Liborio Solis.

Which Inoue is the Better Fighter?

While both Inoue brothers are excellent, world class fighters, there is no question that Naoya Inoue is the better brother out of the two. 

And not just because Takuma has one loss on his record. Instead, the biggest difference when it comes to watching the Inoue brothers fight is the power advantage that Naoya has over Takuma. Naoya Inoue is one of the world's pound for pound biggest punchers, while Takuma has average power for his weight division. 

Regardless, both Inoue brothers have constructed a lasting legacy for the future of Japanese boxing. 

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.