Naoya Inoue

Naoya Inoue Moves to 122, Vacates Bantamweight titles

Naoya Inoue might be the best boxer on the planet. Inoue is a three division world champion and the undisputed bantamweight champ. Announced today, “The Monster” is vacating all of his bantamweight titles and will be moving up to super bantamweight.

Naoya Inoue: Boogeyman

Naoya Inoue took the boxing world by storm during the World Boxing Super Series. But his reign started long before that. At only 5-0, Inoue captured WBC Light Flyweight title with a six round TKO of Adrian Hernandez. After that, it was off to the races.

Inoue went on to win the super flyweight, and eventually go undisputed at bantamweight rocketing him to the top of many’s pound for pound list.

Inoue and Nonito Donaire had a fantastic, back and forth battle in 2019. The two rematched in the 2022 and Inoue showed incredible improvement by knocking out Donaire in the second round. This alone shows just how Naoya Inoue continues to improve as a boxer despite being at the top of the food chain for some time.

Now Inoue has his sights set on the two super bantamweight champions. Stephen Fulton and Murodjon Akhmadaliev are the reigning champions and both are fun matchups for Inoue who is likely wanting to unify his second defense and can do so rather quickly if politics are set aside.

Aside from Fulton and Akhmadaliev, there are some other really fun fights for Inoue that will be big paydays for the Japanese boxer. John Riel Casimero and Luis Nery are two that could be fun matches. Casimero and Inoue were once booked to fight back in 2020 but that fight fell through. There’s also Takuma Inoue, another Japanese boxer of no relation to Naoya, that could sell tickets in Japan.

Perhaps the best matchup, however, is with current featherweight WBO champion, Emmanuel Navarrete. Navarrete is the former king at super bantamweight and has moved up to improve his resume. Navarrete brings a hectic fight and is one where Inoue could absolutely shine.

author avatar
Blaine Henry
Your friendly neighborhood fight fan. I watch way too many fights and my wife lets me know it.