Naoya “Monster” Inoue’s next fight in America

WBA/IBF bantamweight world champion Naoya “Monster” Inoue is coming to America. Inoue has signed a multi-year promotional agreement with Top Rank, which will co-promote his bouts with Ohashi Promotions on the ESPN family of networks. His first fight under this new agreement will take place in the United States in early 2020.

The 26-year-old Inoue is coming off a thrilling unanimous decision over Nonito Donaire earlier today in the championship of the World Boxing Super Series.

“Naoya Inoue is a generational talent, the sort of fighter who comes around once a decade,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum. “He is already a superstar in Japan, and he will be major star stateside in no time. You are looking at an all-time great who is entering the prime of what will be a historic career.”

“It is a tremendous honor to sign with Top Rank and to showcase my talents on ESPN,” Inoue said. “I look forward to 2020. I’ve fought in America once before, and I look forward to doing so again in the very near future.”

“I would like to thank Mr. Bob Arum and Mr. Todd duBoef,” said Hideyuki Ohashi, CEO of Ohashi Promotions. “ESPN is a tremendous platform for Naoya as he continues his career.”

Inoue (19-0, 16 KOs) born in Zama, Japan, compiled a reported 75-6 record in the amateur ranks before turning pro as a 19-year-old in October 2012. He won the WBC light flyweight world title in his sixth pro fight and defended that belt once before moving up two weight classes. Inoue knocked out longtime WBO junior bantamweight world champion Omar Narvaez in the second round and then defended that belt seven times before joining the bantamweight ranks. He is 14-0 with 12 knockouts in world title bouts and is one of six male boxers from Japan to capture world titles in three weight divisions. Before the Donaire fight, he had knocked out seven consecutive opponents who had never been stopped before. He is a consensus top five pound-for-pound boxer, and many experts rate him as the world’s best fighter.

A YouTube sensation, his one-punch knockout of Juan Carlos Payano last October was named by many outlets as the 2018 Knockout of the Year. In his fourth pro fight, he bested Ryoichi Taguchi over 10 rounds to win the Japanese light flyweight title. Taguchi went unbeaten for nearly five years after facing Inoue, unifying light flyweight world titles in the process.

A three-weight kingpin, Inoue has more weight classes to conquer. The legend of “The Monster” continues on ESPN in 2020.

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  • Let’s hope bob doesn’t stall out Inoue’s career or just pad his own pockets while cheating us fans out of great fights. Inoue should’ve signed with matchroom and stayed on DAZN. Or, Hearn should’ve shown Inoue the greenbacks he deserves. I feel this move won’t allow for the best fights for Inoue to happen.

  • Great fight for boxing. The young up and comer won. Nonito did great and lost without getting dominated like some great fighters in their last fights. Inoue learned a lot from the fight that will help him in the future. However, they are overreaching with this Pacquiao talk. Inoue has natural punching power which will make him dangerous against anyone at his current weight class but it is highly unlikely that he will carry that power up to the higher weight classes like Paquiao did. I predict Top Rank will try to move him up in weight as soon as possible to set up fights in the US against some big names at which point we might start to see some some “lackluster” performances from Inoue. He did not do anything impressive by beating Nonito. Based on this performance it is clear that Inoue is a hungry fighter with upward momentum ready to take on the world’s pound for pound best. However, what is also clear is that his superstar status is dependent on his ability to unleash his punching power. We saw here that he does not have any great raw boxing ability. He barely beat a past his prime Nonito who was already soundly outboxed and defeated by Carl Frampton and Jessie Magdelano. Inoue’s success is a result of the explosive power he has shown in past fights. This fight showed that he is ordinary when he can’t end the fight with one punch. Moving up in weight and fighting smart boxers who can nullify that power will likely see him look mediocre. Inoue will be successful as long as he can dominate with power but that will have him on thin ice as he moves to the US to fight big names at 126 and 130. Either way it will be very fun to watch his next 2 or 3 fights. These will decide weather he stays in the US with Top Rank or goes back to Japan.

  • It s a foregone conclusion but the scpring of that fight was way off! It easily should ve been a draw. 7-5. With the knockdown evening thimgs out.

  • Naoya Inoue’s next fight will be against Oubaali, and it will be fantastic! Two prime, undefeated champions batting in their natural weight class! And after the dominant performance Oubaali delivered against Takuma Inoue, Naoya has to be anxious to avenge his brother’s smack down. Let the Nery fight simmer until next summer.

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