Naoya Inoue (17-0, 15 KOs), 25, a three-division world titlist and a reigning secondary bantamweight titleholder, was named Japan’s boxer of the year for 2018 in a pick made by the Japan Boxing Commission in conjunction with the Japan Professional Boxing Association and Japan’s Sports Writers Club on Friday. Inoue, one of boxing’s pound-for-pound best, won both of his 2018 bouts by first-round knockout. He crushed Jamie McDonnell to win a bantamweight belt in May followed by an October destruction of ex-titlist Juan Carlos Payano in the World Boxing Super Series quarterfinals. “I’m happy to be able to respond to people’s expectations with my best performance,” Inoue said.
12hVicki L. Friedman