Inoue’s Next Fight Being Planned For May -What’s Next?

December 27, 2023
4 months
Inoue’s Next Fight Being Planned For May -What's Next?

Naoya Inoue’s next fight could already be in the works, with reports that he could face Luis Nery in May.

Inoue is coming off a tenth-round stoppage win over Marlon Tapales, which made him the undisputed super bantamweight champion. The victory secured his place in history as the second man to become undisputed in a second weight class in the four-belt era like Terence Crawford. After his victory, Inoue hinted that plans were in place for his next fight.

Nery, who is a two-time world champion, is his WBC mandatory. Nery became the mandatory after stopping Azat Hovhannisyan in round 11 in his last fight. The thriller is in the conversation for ‘Fight of the Year’. Nery secured two knockdowns to win. Nery’s record speaks for itself. In his 35 wins, he has one loss but 27 knockouts.

There are question marks over where such a fight would take place. Inoue has fought in Japan for his last five fights. But Nery was banned from boxing in Japan for his life after missing weight ahead of his bout with Shinsuke Yamakaka in 2018. Before that fight, Nery tested positive for Zilpaterol following his win over Shinsuke Yamanaka in 2017 in their first bout. Regardless, Inoue is planning something big.

Inoue’s Next Fight

“I think a lot of people know the rumour of a fight coming about in May. But I can’t say much about this yet because we’re under negotiation. But I want to make everybody happy so that I can show you a great fight next year as well,” Inoue said

Outside of Nery, two possible opponents could face Inoue. Murodjon Akhmadaliev happened to be ringside as he saw the Japanese start demolishing Tapales. His record stands at 12-1. His last bout was on December 16, 2024. He defeated Kevin Gonzalez via an eighth-round TKO to give the Mexican his first career defeat.

He is also a southpaw, which could pose another challenge for Inoue. Murodjon is ranked within the top ten of the four major governing bodies and is fourth in the Ring Magazine rankings. He has stated his intention to fight Inoue since he wanted the winner of the fight with Tapales.

Inoue’s Other Options

“To me it’s very important, it’s the most important fight of my life, the opportunity to fight for four world titles for undisputed. For me the most important is my two titles, because I believe that they belong to me and that’s something that I want.

“I have a huge amount of respect for both fighters. [And] I respect every single fighter in the world. I have nothing against Tapales. [And] I know he is not the one who scored the fight. I believe that whoever is going to win the fight I believe I can beat any of those guys,” Akhmadaliev stated 

Inoue made it clear that he intends to remain at 122 pounds for now and defend his undisputed title. But the question remaining is whether he will move up to featherweight. The Japanese wants to be a five-division champion, but there is only so much he can go up before the weight becomes too much. 

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