By: Hans Themistode
A monster is a creature that is terrifying and frightening. Often times they are referred to as imaginary as well. It’s because what they are capable of doing reaches far beyond the limits of a normal human being.
In the case of unified Super Bantamweight champion Naoya Inoue (19-0, 16 KOs), he has truly lived up to his moniker.
The 26 year old Japanese fighter has been nothing short of spectacular in his short career. In his first ten career contest, eight of them failed to go the distance. He continued his impressive performances with stoppage wins over Yoan Boyeaux and Jamie McDonnell.
Still, with as dominant as he had been, it was difficult to fully buy into the hype.
Thankfully for us all, we were given the opportunity to discover just how talented Inoue truly is.
A new trend in boxing has popped up as of late. The World Boxing Super Series (WBSS). It has given fighters across various weight divisions the opportunity to prove their worth by staging a year long tournament, with normally the best fighters that the chosen division has to offer.
Inoue was given the platform to perform in front of the world, and he did not disappoint. He destroyed his first two opponents in the opening rounds, winning by quick stoppages. His final foe however, would provide a much more difficult test.
For the first time in nearly four years, Inoue was forced to go to the distance as future hall of famer, Nonito Donaire gave him the fight of his life.
Following his victory over the aforementioned Donaire, Inoue immediately inked a multi year deal with Top Rank and is scheduled to fight in the U.S. in 2020.
“Naoya Inoue is a generational talent, the sort of fighter who comes around once a decade,” said promoter 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.”
Inoue, who is already a three division world champion, will now look to take his career to the next level.
“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.”
With Inoue successfully winning the Muhammad Ali trophy, he will surely have his eyes set on big fights. He could very well move down in weight to take on current WBC Super Flyweight title holder Juan Francisco Estrada or IBF champion Jerwin Ancajas in what would be terrific contests. A possible move to the Jr Featherweight division would be an intriguing move as the WBO titlist Emanuel Navarrete could be awaiting him.
One option that could be the best of them all, is a future showdown with multiple division champion Vasiliy Lomachenko.
“Lomachenko I think would go down to 126 a year from now to fight Inoue a year from now,” said Bob Arum a few months back in regards to a possible showdown between the two. “That is a great fight.”
At this point, it is just speculation. Who knows if a possible showdown between these two pound for pound fighters will actually take place.
One thing that isn’t speculation however, is that Inoue will be making his way to the U.S. market. Fighters should be wary of his move. He is a truly great fighter that is looking to take on the best possible opposition out there.
The monster will indeed, invade the U.S. in 2020.