The traditional bonanza of world title fights over the New Year's holiday in Japan took a bit of a hit when bantamweight contender Takuma Inoue suffered a fractured right hand, forcing him to withdraw from his Dec. 30 fight against titleholder Marlon Tapales at Ariake Colosseum in Tokyo, Ohashi Promotions announced.
Inoue (8-0, 2 KOs), a 20-year-old prodigy from Japan, suffered the injury in a sparring session Friday night. He was supposed to challenge Tapales (29-2, 12 KOs), a southpaw from the Philippines, in the co-feature of the card headlined by his older brother, Naoya Inoue (11-0, 9 KOs). The older Inoue will defend his junior bantamweight world title for the fourth time when he faces former titleholder and countryman Kohei Kono (32-9-1, 13 KOs).
Ohashi Promotions is hoping to line up a replacement opponent for Tapales to face.
The card also features another world title bout when junior flyweight titlist Akira Yaegashi (24-5, 12 KOs) will defend his belt against for the second time against an opponent to be determined. On New Year's Eve there are five more world title bouts in Japan spread across three cards.
At Ota-City General Gymnasium in Tokyo, junior lightweight titleholder Jezreel Corrales (20-1, 8 KOs), a southpaw from Panama, will face former titleholder Takashi Uchiyama (24-1-1, 20 KOs) in a rematch of Corrales' big upset in a second-round knockout in April to win the belt.
In the co-feature of that show, junior flyweight titleholder Ryoichi Taguchi (25-2-1, 11 KOs) will make his fifth defense when he meets Carlos Canizales (16-0, 13 KOs) of Venezuela. On a card at Gifu Memorial Hall in Gifu, former strawweight titleholders Kosei Tanaka (7-0, 4 KOs) and Mexico's Moises Fuentes (24-2-1, 13 KOs) will square off for junior flyweight title recently vacated by Donnie Nietes, who is moving up in weight.
In Kyoto, there will be two other world title bouts. Junior featherweight titleholder Jonathan Guzman (22-0, 22 KOs), of the Dominican Republic, will make his first defense against Yukinori Oguni (18-1-1, 7 KOs). Guzman won the belt by 11th-round knockout of Shingo Wake on July 20 in Osaka, Japan. Also, flyweight titlist Kazuto Ioka (20-1, 12 KOs) will make his fourth defense when he faces interim titleholder and mandatory challenger Stamp Kiatniwat (15-0, 6 KOs) of Thailand.