Thursday, September 21, 2023  |



Takuma Inoue-Jerwin Ancajas and Artem Dalakian-Seigo Yuri Akui set for Japan on Nov. 15

Takuma Inoue
Fighters Network

We’ve known for a while that WBA bantamweight titlist Takuma Inoue would face Jerwin Ancajas and that WBA flyweight ruler Artem Dalakian would next face his mandatory Seigo Yuri Akui. We just didn’t know when and where.

We do now.

The doubleheader will take place at the Kokugikan, Tokyo, Japan on Wednesday November 15, where it will be streamed on Prime Video in Japan.

Both fights look very interesting. It’s a step up for Inoue against a well-known fighter, who held the IBF junior bantamweight title for over five years. While Dalakian, who is one of the longest reigning world champions will face a difficult challenge from the streaking Akui.

Inoue (18-1, 4 knockouts), rated at No. 9 by The Ring at bantamweight, is talented in his own right but is often found in his older brother Naoya’s shadow. Takuma won the OPBF 115-pound title in just his fifth fight, made two defenses before stepping up to bantamweight. Continued to gain experience before he lost his unbeaten record in a WBC title shot against Nordine Oubaali (UD 12). He beat Keita Kurihara (TD 9) to pick up the OPBF 118-pound belt. Moved up to 122-pounds and beat experienced former world title challenger Shingo Wake (UD 12) and then added the national title beating grizzled veteran Gukuya Furuhashi (UD 12). Last time out he outpointed Liborio Solis (UD 12) to annex the vacant WBA title.

Ancajas (34-3-2, 23 KOs) won the IBF title from McJoe Arroyo (UD 12) in September 2016. He made nine successful defenses, posting wins over Teiru Kinoshita (TKO 7), Jamie Conlan (TKO 6) and Israel Gonzalez (TKO 10). Ancajas is a road warrior and has competed in Macau, Australia, Ireland, the U.S. and Mexico. The 31-year-old southpaw lost his title to Fernando Martinez (UD 12) in February 2022 and then a rematch to the Argentine fighter (UD 12). He then got back to winning ways over the summer to set up this opportunity.

Dalakian (22-0, 15 KOs), rated at No. 3 by The Ring at flyweight, quietly went about his business in the Ukraine before coming to the U.S. and impressively beating Brian Viloria (UD 12) for the vacant WBA title in February 2018. The 36-year-old has since made six defenses, all but one taking place in the Ukraine, mostly against mid-level opposition. His activity was badly hit by Covid and more recently the war in his homeland. Returning to action in England earlier this year, he beat Ring-rated David Jimenez (UD 12).

Akui (18-2-1, 11 KOs), rated at No. 10 by The Ring at flyweight, started off his career with 11 wins from 12 fights (the blemish was a draw) before losing his unbeaten status to future two-weight titleholder Junto Nakatani (TKO 6). Bounced back impressively stopping future junior flyweight titlist Masamichi Yabuki (TKO 1). However, then suffered another reverse, this time against Jaysever Abcede (TKO 8). The 28-year-old has won his last six fights, claiming the national title and holds wins over Taku Kuwahara (TKO 10), Takuya Kogawa (TKO 10) and, most recently, shut out Jayson Vayson (UD 10).

Questions and/or comments can be sent to Anson at [email protected].