Both the IBF’s website and Asian Boxing, citing Thai boxing site Komthai, report that bantamweight king Naoya Inoue plans to defend his title December 14th against IBF #6 contender Aran Dipaen.
Thailand’s Dipaen (12-2, 11 KO) is currently the sanctioning body’s highest-ranked unoccupied contender. #3 Lee McGregor and #5 Jason Moloney are set to duke it out in a final eliminator later this year, while #4 Paul Butler has a date with WBO champ John Riel Casimero in the works.
Thus, he’s technically not an IBF Mandatory (tm). It is, however, an indictment of the IBF that he’s ranked this highly at all. He’s 3-2 against opponents with winning records and, despite being 30, has been a professional for less than three years. His current six-fight winning streak includes four people with losing records and one who was making his debut.
Inoue (21-0, 18 KO) is going to brutalize this guy and it’s not going to be close. The IBF should be ashamed of itself.