P4P countdown: No 7: Naoya Inoue
Luke G. Williams
Over the course of this week, Boxing Monthly online is counting down our latest pound for pound top ten, based on the votes of a panel comprising ten of our writers. Today we reveal the man who came seventh ...
Name: Naoya Inoue
BM online P4P ranking: 7th (new entry from last June)
Fight record: 15-0 (13 KOs)
Report card: Three fights and three stoppage victories in 2017 - including his US debut on September's super-fly card - have sealed the Zama-born pugilist's reputation as one of the most devastating young fighters on the planet. With seven defences of the WBO super-flyweight title now under his belt, as well as a previous reign as WBC light-fly champ, 'The Monster' is justly renowned for his devastating body work and fearsome punching power.
Prospects for 2018: In the wake of his recent victory against Yoann Boyeaux, Inoue indicated that he is ready to leave 115lbs behind and campaign a division further north at bantamweight. Such a move would open up the prospect of tussles with the likes of Luis Nery, Ryan Burnett, Zolani Tete or even compatriot Shinsuke Yamanaka. However, it would also deny fans the chance to see Inoue in a showdown with the winner of February's 'SuperFly2' bout between Srisaket Sor Rungvisai and Juan Francisco Estrada. In this writer's opinion, Inoue should stay put at super fly and seek out the Srisaket Sor Rungvisai vs Juan Francisco Estrada victor if he wishes to further enhance his P4P standing.
Total points from BM P4P ranking panel: 38 - all ten members of our panel ranked Inoue in their individual top tens. His highest ranking was sixth (a position he held on four lists). However, the Japanese phenom most likely needs to secure a 'defining' victory against a fellow P4P contender in order to advance further up our rankings.
NB: Voting panel for the BM online P4P rankings were: Mark Butcher, Luke Byron, Luke G. Williams, Andrew Harrison, Paul Zanon, James Oddy, Chris Williamson, Callum Rudge, Michael Montero and Shaun Brown.
Each panellist ranked their top ten in order, with the boxer placed first receiving ten points, second nine points, third eight points and so on. Boxers were then ranked by the overall number of points accrued.