Both the IBF’s website and Asian Boxing, citing Thai boxing site Komthai, report that bantamweight king Naoya Inoue plans to defend his title December 14th against IBF #6 contender Aran Dipaen.
Thailand’s Dipaen (12-2, 11 KO) is currently the sanctioning body’s highest-ranked unoccupied contender. #3 Lee McGregor and #5 Jason Moloney are set to duke it out in a final eliminator later this year, while #4 Paul Butler has a date with WBO champ John Riel Casimero in the works.
Thus, he’s technically not an IBF Mandatory ™. It is, however, an indictment of the IBF that he’s ranked this highly at all. He’s 3-2 against opponents with winning records and, despite being 30, has been a professional for less than three years. His current six-fight winning streak includes four people with losing records and one who was making his debut.
Inoue (21-0, 18 KO) is going to brutalize this guy and it’s not going to be close. The IBF should be ashamed of itself.