Japanese boxer Takuma Inoue, is gearing up to defend his WBA bantamweight title against former IBF junior bantamweight titleholder Jerwin Ancajas, from the Philippines. The eagerly anticipated match is scheduled for Nov 15th, at a location soon to be announced in Japan.
Inoue, with a professional record of 18 wins and 1 loss, secured the vacant WBA 118-pound title with an unanimous decision victory over Liborio Solis, on April 8th, in Tokyo. This triumph marked a significant milestone for the 27-year-old from Yokohama, who had previously fallen short in a title challenge against then-unbeaten WBC belt holder Nordine Oubaali, in November 2019. After this defeat, Inoue briefly competed at bantamweight before moving up to the junior featherweight division, while his older brother Naoya Inoue continued his quest to unify the bantamweight division.
On the other hand, Jerwin Ancajas, with a record of 34 wins, 3 losses, and 2 draws, bounced back from a two-fight losing streak by securing a fifth-round knockout victory over Wilner Soto on June 24 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. These two losses had been at the hands of Argentina’s Fernando Martinez, who claimed the IBF junior bantamweight title and defended it with unanimous decision wins over the 31-year-old southpaw from Panabo City, Philippines. Ancajas, who is promoted by Manny Pacquiao's MP Promotions, made a remarkable return to form with the win over Soto, which allowed him to re-enter the WBA bantamweight rankings and enter negotiations for a bout with Inoue. A deal was promptly reached, with terms agreed upon in late July, and the fighters have been eagerly awaiting the official fight date.
Notably, Inoue's title win occurred just a month before Australia's Jason Moloney claimed the WBO bantamweight belt with a victory over Vincent Astrolabio on May 13.