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‘We’re Under Negotiations’: What’s Next for Naoya Inoue?

Naoya Inoue taking on Marlon Tapales

Boxing News

‘We’re Under Negotiations’: What’s Next for Naoya Inoue?

Photo credit: Naoki Fukuda

‘We’re Under Negotiations’: What’s Next for Naoya Inoue?

Naoya Inoue (26-0, 23 KOs) became undisputed again with a tenth-round knockout win over Marlon Tapales (37-4, 19 KOs) on December 26. Attention now turns towards possible future opponents.

“I think super bantamweight is my weight division for now,” said the “Monster” through an interpreter post-fight. “So, 2024, I would like to show you myself as a super bantamweight in even more stronger form.”

“I think lots of people already know about the rumour of the fight upcoming in May,” said Inoue. “But I can’t say much about this yet because we’re under negotiations…”

Inoue may not be able to disclose his next opponent, but speculation about who that could be has been rife. Big Fight Weekend looks at the two most likeliest fighters to take on the Japanese KO artist in his next contest.

Who Will Naoya Inoue Take On Next?

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Luis Nery

The most probable opponent at this stage appears to be former two-division world champion Luis Nery (35-1, 27 KOs). The Tijuana native stopped Azat Hovhannisyan in round 11 in a brutal back in February this year. Additionally, Nery is also in a mandatory position with the WBC.

There is just one problem with a potential clash against Inoue: Nery is banned by the Japan Boxing Commission (JBC) from ever fighting in the country. Should an Inoue-Nery fight be agreed, it would have to happen outside Japan. Either that or the JBC reverses its decision.

Sam Goodman

Fighting out of Australia, Sam Goodman (17-0, 7 KOs) has risen up the rankings over the last couple of years. In 2023 alone, he fought four times. Among the opponents he beat were a former world champion, a former world title challenger and two undefeated contenders.

Goodman has a number-one ranking with the WBO and IBF. He is soon to be due a mandatory shot at a world title. Unlike a potential Nery clash, a fight with the Australian would be seemingly hassle-free to agree.

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Currently writing out of Toronto, Canada, Saadeq first became a boxing fan while living in Doha, Qatar. Looking to become more involved in the sport, he began writing about boxing and has had work published in outlets such as Seconds Out and Boxing Social. He looks forward to continue covering boxing on Big Fight Weekend.

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