WBA bantamweight champion Takuma Inoue (18-1, 4KOs) has credited Jerwin Ancajas (34-3-2, 23KOs) as “the best fighter I’ll ever face”.

The younger brother of the revered Naoya Inoue defends his title for the first time at the Kokugikan Hall in Tokyo, Japan, having won it last year via a unanimous decision against the former unified super-flyweight champion Liborio Solis. 

Takuma Inoue, 28, had previously lost to the then-WBC bantamweight title holder Nordine Oubaali in November 2019, on the undercard of Naoya Inoue's thrilling fight with Nonito Donaire in the final of the bantamweight edition of the World Boxing Super Series. 

“He is the best fighter I’ll ever face, so I want to be focused,” Takuma Inoue said to Spin, regardless of his defeat by Oubaali. “I want to fight until the end and I want to win the fight.”

“I idolize [Ancajas].

“I watched several matches [of Ancajas] and sparred against him in the past. But there are some elements that I’m not sure about until I actually face him in the ring.

Ancajas held the IBF super-flyweight title for five and a half years, after winning it from McJoe Arroyo, defending it against, among others, Jamie Conlan, Miguel Gonzalez, and Jonathan Rodriguez, and then losing it on points to Fernando Daniel Martinez in February 2022.

Ancajas again lost to Martinez on points in their rematch in October of 2022, but returned to defeat Wilner Soto in June 2023.