Saturday, December 02, 2023  |


Takuma Inoue to defend WBA bantamweight belt against Jerwin Ancajas on Nov. 15

Fighters Network

Takuma Inoue will make his first defense of the WBA bantamweight title on Nov. 15 when he faces former titleholder Jerwin Ancajas at Ryōgoku Kokugikan in Tokyo, Japan.

The fight will be broadcast live in the United States on ESPN+ in the early morning hours.

Inoue (18-0, 4 knockouts) of Yokohama, Japan won one of the four 118-pound title belts his older brother Naoya Inoue vacated in April when he won a unanimous decision over Liborio Solis. The Ring’s no. 9 rated bantamweight has won five straight since his lone defeat, a unanimous decision loss in 2019 to Nordine Oubaali in his first opportunity at a world title.

Ancajas (34-3-2, 23 KOs) of Panabo City, Philippines held the IBF junior bantamweight title from 2016 until last year, when he was defeated in back to back fights by Fernando Martinez. Now competing at a higher weight class, Ancajas came back to the ring in June, stopping Wilner Soto in five rounds.

The co-main event will feature Artem Dalakian (22-0, 15 KOs) defending his WBA flyweight title for the seventh time when he faces Seigo Yuri Akui (18-2-1, 11 KOs). Dalakian of Kiev, Ukraine will be making his second title defense of the year, a feat he only previously accomplished in 2018.

Akui, who is eight years younger than the titleholder, has won six straight since suffering stoppage losses to Junto Nakatani and Jaysever Abcede in 2017 and 2018.

Also in action will be former title challenger Jonas Sultan (19-6, 11 KOs), a former opponent and current training mate of Ancajas, against Riku Masuda (3-1, 3 KOs) in an eight round bantamweight bout. Masuda is coming off his first defeat, a ten-round unanimous decision loss to Seiya Tsutsumi for the Japanese bantamweight title in August, while Sultan is coming off an eight-round decision over Frank Gonzalez in September.