THE RESULT: WBA bantamweight champion Takuma Inoue finished a competitive and entertaining fight in Tokyo by sinking a right uppercut into Jerwin Ancajas’ body halfway through round nine. Unable to rise, Ancajas, from the Philippines, was then stopped at the one minute and 44 seconds mark of the round, resulting in a successful first defence on home soil for a jubilant Inoue.

KEY MOMENTS: Long before the finisher in round nine, there was an Inoue right hand in the third which appeared to buckle the legs of Ancajas and represent the first real turning point in the fight. In the very next round, however, Ancajas looked to have returned the favour by hurting Inoue to the body with several well-placed left hands thrown from the southpaw stance. That round in particular was a good one for Ancajas and a reminder to Inoue that he would be better served staying away and utilising his speed and movement. Then again, by the end of that thrilling and frantic fourth round Inoue could also be seen smiling; seemingly relishing that kind of two-way battle.

RECORDS: Inoue, 28, moves to 19-1 (5), whereas Ancajas, 32, drops to 34-4-2 (23).

TALKING POINT: As unfair as it perhaps is to compare him to his brother, it is hard not to when seeing Takuma Inoue in the ring. After all, as well as sharing a vague facial resemblance, they also take up similar positions and stances and have a desire to both entertain the fans and inflict damage on their opponent. That Takuma has to work harder to achieve the latter says more about Naoya’s freakish punch power than any limitations in Takuma’s game. However, it is noticeable when watching them both fight just how much more difficult it is carrying out the “Inoue style” when freakish punch power is removed from the equation. In the case of Takuma, more movement is needed and fewer chances can be taken when lingering on the inside. He is also less likely to deter and therefore be able to control an opponent the way his brother can, so blessed is Naoya by explosive power few want to taste, much less experience for 12 rounds.

Regardless, tonight was Takuma’s night. It was his night to make his first world title defence and it was his night to show the world that he too can end a fight with one punch.

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT: It’s safe to say that at bantamweight there are plenty of fights for Inoue to target and relish. For instance, fights with other belt-holders like Jason Moloney (WBO) and Emmanuel Rodriguez (IBF) would make a lot sense, as would a fight against Junto Nakatani, who has not only now moved to bantamweight but dazzled earlier on the same show, stopping Alexandro Santiago in nine rounds to secure the WBC title.