Earlier today the Japanese press reported that WBO Super Flyweight sensation Naoya Inoue (10-0, 8) [井上 尚弥] would be travelling over to the US to watch the upcoming WBC Super Flyweight world title bout, between defending champion Carlos Cuadras (35-0-1, 27) Nicaraguan star Roman Gonzalez (45-0, 38), in person.
Inoue, who defends his own title just days earlier in a crazy 11 day span for the Super Flyweight division, will be travelling to further build up the potential Inoue Vs Gonzalez super fight which appears to be pencilled in for mid-2017, if both Inoue and Gonzalez come through their upcoming bouts without any injuries.
The idea seems to be for Inoue to make his US debut in Spring 2017 now with his bout acting as a chief support bout to a Roman Gonzalez contest on HBO, to help build up Inoue's name in the west and to further create interest among casual fans who won't have seen him before. After that bout the teams of the two fighters should be sitting down to secure a deal, possibly for Summer 2017.
For Gonzalez the bout with Cuadras serves as his first proper foray into the Super Flyweight division and if he wins he will become a 4-weight world champion, the first from Nicaragua. It will also see him winning a title in the same division as Inoue leading their potential clash to be a unification bout between unbeaten stars. If Cuadras manages the upset there is still a potential unification between Inoue and the Mexican, who like Gonzalez would go into an Inoue clash as an unbeaten champion.
Before looking that far ahead Inoue will himself have to defend his title on September 4th, when he takes on Thailand's Petchbarngborn Kokietgym (38-7-1, 18) [เพชรบางบอน ก่อเกียรติยิม] at the Sky Arena in Zama. That will be Inoue's third defense of the title and and his first bout in Zama since becoming a world champion. The 2-weight champion is itching top prove he's the best but injuries have slowed his rise and he'll be hoping to avoid them for the foreseeable future.
(Image courtesy of Mr Ohashi's blog)
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