‘The Beast’ Naoya Inoue, WBA, and IBF bantamweight champion, has today been elected Japan Boxer of the Year by the Japan Boxing Commission (JBC) and our Tokyo, Japan Sports Writers Association. For the fourth time in three consecutive years, Naoya was awarded the prize. Thanks to his outstanding stoppage of Jason Moloney in Las Vegas, which was also named Fight of the Year, he also won the Knockout Trophy.
Due to his highly judged triumph over previously unbeaten Kosei Tanaka on New Year’s Eve, Kazuto Ioka, WBA junior bantam titlist, was awarded the Technique Trophy.
The Important Victory award went to Junto Nakatani, the newly crowned WBO flyweight champion.
40-year-old OPBF light flyweight champion Kenichi Horikawa and unified regional super-fly titleholder JBC, OPBF, and WBO ASPAC Ryoji Fukunaga have been awarded the Efforts Honor.
The Rookie Citation was given to unbeaten OPBF super-feather boss Hironori Mishiro.
The Fight of the Year (as for non-world title bouts) was an upset victory of Masayoshi Nakatani over Felix Verdejo in Las Vegas.
WBO female minimumweight champ Etsuko Tada was named Female Boxer of the Year.
The JBC makes it a rule to celebrate an award presenting ceremony every year, but it will not take place especially this year because of the COVID-29 pandemic, which still has had us in major prefectures including Tokyo under a state of emergency.