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Takuma Inoue defeats Mark John Yap, becomes WBC mandatory

Inoue is now in a position to challenge for Luis Nery’s old title once it’s no longer vacant

22-year-old Takuma Inoue is one win away from joining brother Naoya as a world champion after defeating Filipino veteran Mark John Yap to become the WBC bantamweight mandatory challenger.

According to The Ring’s Nick Skok, Inoue (12-0, 3 KO) and Yap (29-13, 14 KO) were fairly neck-and-neck until Inoue floored Yap with a left hook in the fifth. From there, Inoue maintained control for the next three rounds and turned aside Yap’s late onslaught, which came about when open scoring revealed that he needed a knockdown or knockout to win.

Despite Yap’s unimpressive record, he was on a ten-fight winning streak going into this bout, including victories over some solid Japanese bantamweights. BoxRec had him #7 at 118 to Inoue’s #9, the WBC #3 to #9. It’s a very solid win for Inoue, who lacks his brother’s horrific power but looks to be a damn good fighter by his own merits.

Unfortunately for Inoue, he may have to wait a bit. After initially ordering Nordine Oubaali to face Petch Sor Chitpattana for the vacant title, the WBC recently changed course and substituted Rau’shee Warren in to fight Oubaali. According to the author of the Ring article, Oubaali’s promoters are looking to give Chitpattana step-aside money, with the latter facing whoever wins between Oubaali and Warren. This leaves Inoue third in line, though he apparently intends to stay busy on one of Japan’s big New Year shows rather than sit on his status.

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