Naoya Inoue Plans To Defend His 122lb Title 3 Times In 2024

Naoya Inoue’s promoter, Hideyuki Ohashi, has confirmed his fighter will defend his undisputed super bantamweight title three times next year, with the fights taking place between Japan and Saudi Arabia.  

Inoue made history after stopping Marlon Tapales to become undisputed in a second weight class in the four-belt era alongside Terence Crawford. Before the win, Inoue expressed his intention to stay at 122 pounds for the near future. Luis Nery, Murodjon Akhmadaliev, and John Riel Casimero are the three names under consideration for his next fights. 

Nery is Inoue’s WBC mandatory. The Mexican’s record is 35-1 with 27 knockouts. He stopped Froilan Saludar in his last fight. The boxer is banned from fighting in Japan after missing weight for his rematch with Shinsuke Yamanaka in 2018. A year before, he failed a test for Zilpaterol for his first fight with Yamanaka.

Meanwhile, Akhmadaliev was ringside to see Inoue beat Tapales. He is coming off a victory over Kevin Gonzalez in December. Akhmadaliev has only lost once, with a record of 12-1. He is currently ranked in the top ten in the four major governing bodies.

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As for Casimero, he has nine wins out of his last ten fights. His last bout was a technical draw against Yukinori Oguni. But Casimero is a three-division champion with belts in the junior flyweight, flyweight, and bantamweight divisions.

If Inoue emerges victorious in those fights, he could move up to the featherweight division and fulfil his ambition of being a fifth-weight world champion. 

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boxing newsFroilan SaludarHideyuki OhashiJohn Riel CasimeroKevin GonzalezLuis NeryMarlon TapalesMurodjon AkhmadalievNaoya InoueShinsuke YamanakaTerence CrawfordYukinori Oguni