Takuma Inoue: I’ll be Sor Chitpattana’s toughest opponent yet
Much can be said about the quality of a card based on its opening acts. The undercard can either serve as a forgettable interlude or be a healthy compliment to the main event. Occupying the latter of those options, Takuma Inoue versus Petch Sor Chitpattana is the very solid opener to “The Triple” as its been dubbed by Fuji Boxing, for the Tokyo triple header on December 30th.
“Yes, I think [I’ll be his toughest opponent to date],” Inoue (12-0, 3 knockouts) told The Ring about his opponent.
The undefeated records of both fighter’s tell two very different stories. With Petch, a steady diet of below market fighters has bloated his record and perhaps kept us from seeing just how good he really is. For Takuma, the level of his opposition has been incrementally increasing while his appearances have come on high profile cards, something his opponent has yet to experience.
“I’m used to it. It will be an advantage [fighting in Tokyo],” said Inoue, who is three years younger than his opponent at 22.
Takuma has done his homework on his traveling Thai opponent, who’s fighting abroad for the first time, and isn’t expecting any surprises. “I think he’ll fight just like he does in the videos. Having only watched tape on him I can’t tell yet [if he’ll be the toughest opponent of my career].”
The tapes could be somewhat deceiving considering the opposition might not have challenged Petch to make the type of adjustments that could be necessary against a higher caliber talent which Takuma clearly represents.
With 33 knockouts in his 48 wins without a loss, Petch might be Takuma’s most dangerous test to date. “He’s a boxer to be reckoned with.”
The magnitude of the situation from being featured on another card around New Year’s Eve, a privilege for Japanese boxers, isn’t lost on Takuma. “It’s time to wrap up the year and end it on a positive note. I’m very motivated for this opportunity.”
The two undefeated bantamweights will tango to determine who becomes the interim WBC titleholder at 118 pounds, while the full title remains vacant until Nordine Oubaali and Rau’shee Warren square off next month on the Pacquiao-Broner card.
Winners from both contests are supposed to face each other at the end of what has become a quasi-tournament, thanks to a delayed and convoluted WBC process that has deprived the division of a champion since February when Luis Nery was stripped.
Coincidentally, the other three alphabet titles in the division are up for grabs in a tournament as well where Takuma’s older brother is currently enrolled and favored to win. Big brother will be in Takuma’s corner come fight night.
Contact Nick Skok on Twitter at @NoSparring