The first of these rumours is one we've been hearing for a few days. That is that Inoue will skip Flyweight completely and attempt to usurp WBO Super Flyweight champion Omar Andres Narvaez (43-1-2, 23) on New Year Eve. Narvaez, despite being 39, is a genuinely terrific fighter who is best remembered for collecting a pay day against Nonito Donaire in a less that typical performance. At his best Narvaez is a headache for anyone his size, which Donaire wasn't. He's fast, accurate, tricky, works like a machine in the ring and his harder than his record suggests. For what it's worth he's likely to be close to 50-50 on paper against Inoue and is a nightmare opponent to fight, as shown in his stoppage victory over Hiroyuki Hisataka last year, a surprising stoppage over the "Sexy Soldier".
This rumour started with Spanish language media, such as ESPN Espanol, and has been relayed earlier today by Hochi who are generally one of our better sources giving the story a real sense of legitimacy. (Story in Japanese)
The other rumour is a flyweight one as Inoue is set to fight WBA Flyweight champion Juan Carlos Reveco (34-1, 18) who was recently forced to pull out of a scheduled title defense with Thailand's Yodmongkol Vor Saengthep (34-2, 20) due to an arm injury. This is possibly a more interesting story but a less interesting match up. We've heard that Yodmongkol may have his match rescheduled with Reveco and we've also heard that Reveco is in talks with Kazuto Ioka (15-1, 9) and those particular talks have been put as a reason for his recent injury. If Inoue manages to get Reveco then it would suggest that that the Ohashi Gym have made a sensational coup to snag the Argentinian who looked lucky to retain his title last time out against Felix Alvarado (19-2, 16). If this bout was made Inoue would have to be a big favourite.
Interestingly Reveco beat Masayuki Kuroda the last time he was in Japan, Kuroda had previously been the pro-test partner of Inoue and was battered by Inoue, who hadn't even made his debut at the time!
This rumour seems to have been built on previous discussions of the bout and has been reported by Sanspo (story in Japanese).
At the moment neither Inoue or the Ohashi Gym have come out publicly to say who they are or aren't dealing with but it looks like we are going to have something very exciting to look forward to later this year and with just weeks of the year left an announcement must be imminent for a 2014 bout!
Get excited again folks, this could be fun, especially if it's a New Years Eve announcement as it could lead to 3 rival cards featuring Takashi Uchiyama, Kohei Kono, Naoya Inoue, Ryoichi Taguchi, Akira Yaegashi, Ryo Miyazaki, Kazuto Ioka, Sho Ishida and Ryota Murata across 3 channels, Tokyo TV, TBS and Fuji TV!