Earlier today Hideyuki Ohashi promoted an event at Korakuen Hall, headlined by an OPBF title bout between OPBF Bantamweight champion Keita Kurihara [栗原慶太] and Takuma Inoue [井上拓真].
One of the spectators at the event was Japanese star Naoya Inoue (20-0, 17) [井上 尚弥], the current WBA "Super" and IBF Bantamweight champion, who has had many fans asking when he'll be fighting again and who against.
Today those questions as to what is next for the "Monster" ended up being asked of Ohashi who explained, that the next bout would be a mandatory defense for Inoue against Michael Dasmarinas (30-2-1, 20), a bout the IBF have now ordered.
Although Ohashi only revealed who was likely for Inoue the details regarding "where" were released by Teiken head honcho Akihiko Honda, who revealed that it was likely to be held in Japan, with Sanspo.com reporting that the bout is now "expected to be after this spring", meaning a potential early Summer bout for Inoue.
Part of the reason for the delay is the on going global situation, and travel into Japan at the moment is difficult, which is why it's expected to be summer before the bout can actually be staged.
If this bout is indeed in Japan this will be Inoue's first bout at home since his November 2019 win over Nonito Donaire in the WBSS Bantamweight final.
Rather notably Dasmarinas was in the Ohashi gym himself in 2019, where he sparred with Takuma Inoue ahead of Takuma's bout with Nordine Oubaali, a bout that served as the chief support for Naoya's bout with Donaire. That would have given Naoya and his team a good chance to get a read on Dasmarinas ahead of a potential showdown with Naoya.
As for Dasmarinas he's been out of the ring since October 2019, though that was, in part, due to the on going pandemic.
Yesterday fans watching on the Top Rank youtube channel or CCTV 5 saw Japan's 2012 Olympic Hero Ryota Murata (9-0, 6) [村田 諒太] score a 2nd round TKO win over Argentinian fighter Gaston Alejandro Vega (24-11-1-1, 10) in a bout staged in Shanghai. That bout saw Murasta extend his unbeaten record and kick off 2016 with a bout that had some moments of excitement.
Today, following that bout, the Japanese press went relatively crazy with a number of articles about the contest and the post fight press conference, which took place today.
At that press conference Teiken president Akihiko Honda [本田 明彦] layed down Teiken plans for their Middleweight hopeful.
As previously reported the immediate future seems to be a US training camp, which is to take place in March and see Murata sharing the ring with some top sparring partners as he looks to make some drastic improvements and prepare himself for some world level competition later in the year.
Following that training camp the focus will be on a bout in May. Details in regards to that bout aren't yet available though it's likely to be in Japan with the potential to come on the same card as the next bouts featuring Naoya Inoue (9-0, 8) [井上 尚弥], who is expected to be facing David Carmona (20-2-5, 8), and Akira Yaegashi (23-5, 12) [八重樫 東], with all three men being favourites of Fuji TV.
According to Honda's comments today the plan is to then work towards getting a bout with unbeaten British fighter Billy Joe Saunders (23-0, 12), the current WBO champion.
Whilst Saunders appears to be the "easy" target at Middleweight, given that Gennady Golovkin [Геннадий Геннадьевич Головкин] holds the WBA "super" and IBF title and appears to be chasing the WBC title for which he is the mandatory challenger, it's also fair to say that Saunders has other possible opponents and would certainly not be forced into facing Murata unless Teiken can pull some strings with the WBO to get their man into a mandatory position.
As of the latest WBO rankings Murta is ranked #8, though could find himself rising through the rankings in February given his recent activity.
News! We try and give you the most interesting news stories from the Asian boxing world!