Naoya Inoue Plans To Move Up To Super Bantamweight After Becoming Undisputed Champ
He became the undisputed bantamweight champion last week over Paul Butler.
Naoya Inoue has a bigger plane on his mind after sweeping the bantamweight division.
Inoue lived up to his nickname, Monster, when he sent British fighter Paul Butler packing in the 11th round to unify the IBF, WBO, WBA and WBC world bantamweight titles last week.
The 30-year-old showed his class and made Butler look helpless in front of him during all this time. The Yokohama native toiled with Butler before hammering a final nail in the coffin in the 11th round.
Now, the Japanese fighter is looking to become the only male fighter to unify all four major titles in boxing’s four-belt era in two different weight classes.
“I believe I’m going to aim for it,” Inoue said. “We’ll need to develop a thorough plan,” Inoue said.
Inoue is expected to make a return to the ring in April or May of the coming year and it could be the first time, we see him fighting at the super Bantamweight.
The world titles at 122 pounds are owned by two undefeated fighters, Uzbekistan’s Murodjon Akhmadaliev and Stephen Fulton of the United States — with each boxer holding two belts.
The duo could prove to be a stern test for Inoue who is aiming for the summit of 122 next.
Hideyuki Ohashi, the chairman of Inoue’s Ohashi Boxing Gym, believes Inoue will still perform like the same destructive fighter in the new weight class.
“The higher he moves up in weight class, the more his quality stands out,” Ohashi said.
Inoue further laid out the map insisting that he is capable of going to the featherweight division and enjoy the same success as he did at bantamweight.
“I can go as far as featherweight,” the fighter has said.
If he does accomplish that feat, it will make him the third fighter from Asia to hold titles in a five-weight division. The first two being the Filipino legends, Nonito Donaire and Manny Pacquiao.