By Tre Berry
Typically, as evidenced by history, the father/son trainer/fighter combination in large doesn’t particularly pan out for a multitude of reasons. Often times, the trainer tends to steer too far to father mode in mid battle and will over-rely on motivational tactics to keep their sons engaged in the bout, ultimately neglecting the responsibility of giving constructive critique to get their fighters to adapt to the ebbs and flow of the fight.
In many cases, the trainers words fall on deaf ears due to the fighters hearing their voice over a long sustained period of time from their adolescence while growing weary of it, and emotions can overtake logic in the trainer/fighter dynamic during the action.
There are however a few cases where when the dynamic actually works, which creates something special that is hard to replicate. The recent historical examples that immediately come to mind are Floyd Mayweather Sr./Jr., Enzo/Joe Calzaghe and most recently, Anatoly/Vasiliy Lomachenko. There is another trainer currently making a great case in this sport with his offspring, and delivering a very strong product as the father of two prime time sons, and his name is Shingo Inoue.
Shingo is a quiet, reserved man, however, what he has gotten out of his sons with his tutelage speaks volumes. He has turned his older son Naoya Inoue, 26 into an all-world level pound for pound fighter, who is destined to re-write the annals of Japanese boxing history (boxing history period for that matter) through his active journey, and his younger son Takuma Inoue,23, has transformed himself into a strong contending fighter at Bantamweight, recently winning the Interim WBC title, putting him in prime position to compete for the WBC world title in due time.
With all the success that the Inoue family has experienced, at the hands of Shingo, would it surprise you if I were to tell you that Shingo only got into boxing through the suggestion of a friend?
According to Shingo, he only took up boxing after a friend of his suggested that he take it up as a hobby. Being the owner of a painting company which served as the families main source of income, Shingo would train while his son Naoya (only 5 years old) watched in attendance, which is where Naoya got the zest to become like his old man and expand his interests in boxing.
Upon learning of his sons desire to box, Shingo put Naoya through a strict series of tests to gauge his passion and skills for the sport as he was coming up to see where he stood, and was overall elated with the results, seeing that his son had a bright future.
With his father in his ear, Naoya compiled an amateur record of 75 – 6, partaking in multiple tournaments such as the Asian Youth Championships, and the AIBA Championships, with a good deal of success. Naoya entered the professional ranks in 2012, where he and his father Shingo never looked back. With Naoya winning his 1st world title in his 6th fight, and a 2nd world title in his second weight division in his 8th fight, he fast-tracked his way to becoming one of the best fighters in the world with his father’s presence in the corner.
Takuma Inoue joined the pros one year after his brother did, and has been successful in all of his bouts, working his way up to serious contention, where he recently defeated contender Petch Sor Chitpattana (who was 48 – 0 – 0 at the time) for the Interim WBC Bantamweight Champion title.
A quiet guy who deflects, and avoids warranted praise, it’s only right to point out one of boxing’s best trainers, and to shed light on him being half of one of boxing’s best trainer/fighter father and son combinations of today, and that is the humble, quiet guy that goes by the name Shingo.