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The Tokyo Dome’s primary tenants are the Yomiuri Giants of Nippon Professional Baseball, who have played their home games there since its opening in 1988. Yesterday, the Giants played host to the Hanshin Tigers, which gave organizers roughly 13 hours to change the building over for today’s boxing card. Here’s a fun time-lapse video showing the conversion.


井上尚弥 vs ルイス・ネリ​

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A bit of early drama in the second-to-last preliminary bout ahead of tonight’s main event. The WBA bantamweight world champion Takuma Inoue (19-1, 5 KOs), younger brother of Naoya, has suffered a first-round knockdown against former world title challenger Sho Ishida (34-3, 17 KOs) in their scheduled 12-round encounter. A perfectly placed left jab by Ishida dropped Inoue to the canvas but he easily beat the count and doesn’t seem hurt.

Sho Ishida drops Takuma Inoue to the canvas during the first round of their WBA bantamweight title fight on Monday at the Tokyo Dome. Photograph: Philip Fong/AFP/Getty Images

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Seigo Yuri Akui has just retained his WBA flyweight title by a unanimous decision over Taku Kuwahara. The three judges at ringside handed down scores of 117-111 (twice) and 118-110 in a rematch of their 2021 Japanese title bout, which Akui won by 10th-round TKO.

Akui really stepped on the gas during the second half of a fight that was contested at a lively pace. A promising start to a stacked TV undercard.

Seigo Yuri Akui lands a left hand on Taku Kuwahara during their WBA flyweight title fight on Monday at the Tokyo Dome. Photograph: Philip Fong/AFP/Getty Images
Seigo Yuri Akui is declared the winner by a 12-round unanimous decision. Photograph: Philip Fong/AFP/Getty Images


Hello and welcome to the Tokyo Dome for tonight’s blockbuster between Naoya ‘Monster’ Inoue and Mexican challenger Luis Nery. A sellout crowd of about 55,000 spectators is expected as boxing returns to the Big Egg for the first time since February 1990, when a 42-1 underdog named James ‘Buster’ Douglas knocked out then-unbeaten heavyweight champion Mike Tyson in one of the great upsets in all of sport.

Inoue (26-0, 23 KOs) is no Tyson. He’s even better, both on body of work and appetite for destruction. Since winning his first world championship at 108lbs in his sixth professional fight back in April 2014, the 31-year-old knockout merchant from Kanagawa prefecture has added belts at 115lbs, 118lbs and 122lbs while amassing a record of 21-0 in world title fights, including 19 coming inside the distance. Most recently, Inoue became the undisputed champion in two different weight classes over a 378-day span, knocking out Paul Butler in December 2022 to consolidate all four titles at bantamweight, then stopping the previously unbeaten Stephen Fulton in his junior featherweight debut and fully unifying the belts at 122lbs with a stoppage of Marlon Tapales in December. He is only the second Japanese man to win titles in four different weight classes after the great Kazuto Ioka.

Japan’s Naoya Inoue, left, and Mexico’s Luis Nery pose for a photo after Sunday’s official weigh-in in Tokyo. Photograph: Kyodo News/Getty Images

Nery (35-1, 27 KOs) is a former two-division world champion who held the WBC’s version title at both bantamweight and junior featherweight. The 29-year-old Tijuana southpaw lost his bantamweight strap after badly missing weight for his 2018 rematch against Shinsuke Yamanaka, which earned him an indefinite suspension in Japan that was lifted earlier this year. After becoming a two-weight champion with a 2020 decision over Aaron Alameda, he suffered his first and only professional loss the following year by seventh-round knockout in a title unification bout with Brandon Figueroa. He’s rebuilt nicely since then with four straight wins – including a spectacular 11th-round knockout over Azat Hovhannisyan last February in one of the year’s best scraps – but he will go off tonight as a 10-1 underdog on merit.

We’ve got three world title fights on the televised undercard ahead of tonight’s main event, which should go off around 8.30pm local time (7.30am EDT/12.30pm BST). Plenty more to come between now and then!


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