This past weekend fight fans around the globe had the chance to see WBO Super Flyweight champion Naoya Inoue (14-0, 12) [井上 尚弥] make his long awaited US debut, and retain his title with a 1-sided stoppage of American challenger Antonio Nieves (17-2-2, 9).
On Monday Inoue returned to Japan and spoke about the fight, his future and his excitement at fighting on the road again.
The sensational youngster stated that he enjoyed the atmosphere of fighting in the US and whilst his fight wasn't the best, with Nieves looking to avoid any contact at times, he does want to return to fight in American again in the near future.
In terms of a more immediate future we now know that Inoue will return to action at the end of the year, though who he will face is currently unclear. He did indicate that he will be moving to Bantamweight down the line, but feels like he has unfinished business at Super Flyweight, and mentioned a possible unification bout with IBF champion Jerwin Ancajas (28-1-1, 18), to close out the year.
Whilst other unificaitons bouts, such as one with WBC champion Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (43-4-1, 39) [ศรีสะเกษ นครหลวงโปรโมชั่น], would be more attractive it's unlikely the WBC will delay another mandatory title fight at the weight whilst the WBA have a title fight set for October 28th, giving the winner no chance to prepare for Inoue.
It seems like the move to Bantamweight will wait until 2018, but it's hard to imagine Inoue fighting more than twice more at Super Flyweight, with some suggesting he will only have one more bout at 115lbs before seeking a third divisional world title in the interesting Bantamweight division.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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