Naoya Inoue Planning A December Return To The Ring In Japan

Naoya Inoue Planning Lackluster December Return Against Aran Dipaen

Unified bantamweight champion Naoya Inoue, Aran Dipaen in a boxing match
Naoya Inoue (left), Aran Dipaen

Naoya Inoue Planning Lackluster December Return Against Aran Dipaen

For the past year, unified IBF/WBA ‘super’ world bantamweight champ Naoya Inoue (21-0, 18 KOs) has made a concerted effort to make a name for himself in the United States boxing market. Now it looks like the fighter nicknamed “Monster” is going back home for his next fight. According to Thailand boxing source Komthai, the 28-year-old from Zama, Japan plans to return to the ring on December 14 in Tokyo, Japan with Thailand’s Aran Dipaen (12-2, 11 KOs) being looked at as the potential opponent. Reports are that representatives for Inoue contacted Dipaen’s handlers about a match.


Most observers and pundits consider Inoue as one of the best pound for pound boxers in the world. Given his success throughout his career, he’s set a very high standard for himself. So, if he were to fight Dipaen, it would be considered a bit of a letdown. While the 30-year-old from Khon Kaen, Thailand ranks# 6 with the IBF, in observing his professional record, he has not fought or beaten anyone of note, even to hardcore fans of the lower-weight divisions.


Since his dramatic win over Nonito Donaire in the finals of the WBSS Bantamweight tournament in November 2019, Inoue has only appeared in the ring twice. Yes, they were mandatory title defenses. But those opponents, Jason Moloney and then-mandatory IBF challenger Michael Dasmarinas, were considered not to be in his league. A legitimate argument can be made that Dipaen is not as good as either Moloney or Dasmarinas.

Fans would love to see Naoya Inoue face WBO world 118-pound champion John Riel Casimero, who publicly berated him. They also want to see a rematch with Donaire, who has gone on to win the WBC bantamweight title. Inoue has expressed a strong desire to become an undisputed world champion at 118-pounds. So far, his team has yet to make any moves towards achieving that goal.

Talks are ongoing between Inoue and Dipaen. On the surface, you can understand why Inoue wishes to fight in his homeland, where he reached superstar status. You just hoped that his return would be against a better opponent. If this fight goes through, it looks like nothing more than a showcase fight for the “Monster”. Stay tuned to 3KingsBoxing for further updates.

By: Michael Wilson Jr.

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Mike is the host of boxing podcast "Pound 4 Pound Boxing Report" and is a Senior Writer for