Naoya Inoue says he’ll win World Boxing Super Series tournament
By Jim Dower: WBA World bantamweight champion Naoya ‘Monster’ Inoue (16-0, 14 KOs) says he’ll win the World Boxing Super Series (WBSS) 118 lb. tournament, and then move on to bigger and better things with his career.
Inoue, 25, made it official on Wednesday that he’s entering the WBSS bantamweight tournament to compete with the likes of Zolani Tete, Emmanuel Rodriguez, Ryan Burnett, Juan Carlos Payano and Jason Maloney. Inoue wants to capture the Muhammad Ali Trophy by winning the WBSS tournament and cleaning out the bantamweight division.
Until this week, it was unclear whether the Japanese native Inoue would enter the WBSS tournament, as he had other options available to him and doesn’t need to compete in the tourney for him to be a star. However, the way to cement himself as the best fighter at 118 in a hurry is by competing in the World Boxing Super Series bantamweight tournament and winning the Muhammad Ali Trophy by beating the best.
“It is an honour to be able to participate and compete in such a great tournament,” said Inoue. “Of course I will win and as the winner of the tournament, I will continue onto the next journey of my boxing career!”
Inoue won the World Boxing Association World bantamweight title last May in stopping champion Jamie McDonnell in the 1st round at the Ota-City General Gymnasium in Tokyo, Japan. It was supposed to have been a competitive fight going into the contest, but it turned out to be a real slaughter with Inoue going decimating McDonnell while fighting in 1st gear the entire round.
Inoue took a heap of criticism for choosing not to stay around the super flyweight division and face the best fighters in the division. Inoue opted not to stay at 115 and battle Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, Juan Francisco Estrada, Khalid Yafai, Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez, Carlos Cuadras, Donnie Nietes and Jerwin Ancajas. Those were by far the best fighters in the super flyweight division, and Inoue fought none of them. Instead of fighting those guys from the 115 lb. weight class, Inoue fought these fighters:
Omar Andres Narvaez
Inoue received a ton of respect from a lot of boxing fans, but the fact remains that he never got around to fight any of the truly talented fighters at 115. The best guy that Inoue fought at super flyweight was Narvaez, and he was 38-years-old at the time he fought him. Inoue fought Narvaez when he was up
there in years and not the fighter he’d once was. The boxing public wanted to see Inoue step it up and face Rungvisai, but he never did.
The good news about Inoue signing to fight in the World Boxing Super Series bantamweight tournament is that he’s finally going to be facing the better fighters after years of not facing the best. The bad news is that Inoue failed to fight the best guys in the last two weight classes he competed in. He never fought Nietes when he was at flyweight, and he was considered the best talent in that weight class at the time that Inoue was fighting at that weight.