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Takuma Inoue outclasses Sho Ishida over 12, retains WBA bantamweight title


Takuma Inoue (left) and Sho Ishida. Photo by Naoki Fukuda

Takuma Inoue will likely never escape the shadow of his older brother, but he continues to develop into a complete boxer and top-class world titleholder, as evidenced by the second defense of his WBA bantamweight title against tough veteran Sho Ishida on the undercard of Naoya’s showdown with Luis Nery on Monday at the Tokyo Dome.

Apart suffering an opening round knockdown (courtesy of a stiff jab from Ishida), Inoue (20-1, 5 KOs) put on a boxing clinic against the gritty 32-year-old former title challenger, winning a unanimous decision by scores of 118-109 (twice) and 116-111.

The 28-year-old Yokohama native beat the veteran from Osaka to the punch whether he was setting traps and counterpunching off the back foot or standing and trading in the pocket.

Inoue, the faster and more fluid and creative puncher, had Ishida’s nose bleeding from the second round on, with most of the damage coming from uppercuts, but the taller challenger was also punished with crisp jabs, one-two combinations and hooks to the body.

Inoue was the ring general throughout the bout, although Ishida (34-4, 17 KOs), who has never been stopped, tried his best to mount a rally in Rounds 10 and 11.

Inoue, The Ring’s No. 5-rated bantamweight, made the first defense of his title with a ninth-round stoppage former 115-pound beltholder Jerwin Ancajas in February. He was The Ring’s 2015 Prospect of the Year.

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