Over the last 24 hours we've seen various rumours emerge in regards to the ring return of Japanese sensation Naoya Inoue (11-0, 9) [井上 尚弥], who is expected to defense his WBO Super Flyweight title in late December. Sadly with just 12 weeks to the end of year it's still unclear who Inoue will be fighting.
Since making the third defense of his title back in September he has been linked to unification bouts with all 3 of the other champions, Jerwin Ancajas, WBA champion Luis Concepcion and WBC star Roman Gonzalez, and his are said to have made offers to all three that have been knocked back. He has also been linked to a fight with former unified Flyweight king Juan Francisco Estrada but it also seems like that bout has failed to materialise.
Over the last 24 hours his name had been linked to two former world chanmpions, in fact two men who lost their titles around the same time he recorded his third defense.
One of those is Puerto Rican McJoe Arroyo (17-1, 8), who lost the IBF title in September to Jerwin Ancajas. This wouldn't be the most attractive fight, given how poor Arroyo has looked in his last two bouts. The other is former WBA champion Kohei Kono (32-9-1, 13) [河野 公平], with that bout having a bit more intrigue given it would be an all Japanese bout, and that Kono is a proven tough who has never been stopped.
Whether Inoue, pictured above with WBC Super Bantamweight champion Hozumi Haegawa, will get either of the former champions in the ring next time is yet to be seen, but it is clear that he's wanting to face a big name in his next bout and his team are clearly making offers to lure a respectable name into the ring with him ahead of a potentially huge 2017 for the Monster, who is expected to make his US debut next year and amp up the pressure on Roman Gonzalez.
(Image courtesy of Inoue's blog)
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