Luis Nery on Naoya Inoue: “We’re going to finish him”

By Boxing News - 02/21/2023 - Comments

By Dan Ambrose: Luis Nery says he will “finish” Naoya ‘Monster’ Inoue when he can face him this year or in 2024. Unfortunately for Nery, the former three-division world champion Inoue (24-0, 21 KOs) has other plans and going after a title shot against WBC/WBO super bantamweight champion Stephen Fulton next.

If Inoue wins that fight, it’s very likely his next move will be to battle for the undisputed championship at 122 against IBF/WBA champion Murodjon Akhmadaliev.

Nery isn’t on Inoue’s radar, and he might never be because he’s not popular and doesn’t have a title. The 122-lb division is a dead one in terms of popular fighters, and the only fighter in that weight class with a fan base besides Inoue is Fulton.

That means that Nery will need to stay busy fighting other opposition and hope he doesn’t lose again, like when Brandon Figueroa stopped him in seven rounds with a body shot in May 2021.

Nery (32-1, 24 KOs) is now in the mandatory slot for the WBC super bantamweight title after his 11th round knockout win over Azat ‘Crazy A’ Hovhannisyan last Saturday night at the Pomona Fox Theater in Pomona, California.

Nery targeting Inoue

“I was surprised. I thought I was going to knock him out in the fifth round. I worked in the fifth round, but if I didn’t knock him out in the fifth round, I was going to go in the later rounds,” said Luis Nery to Fight Hub TV about his fight last Saturday night against Azat Hovhannisyan.

“We’re looking for Inoue; we think it’s a big fight, and we’re going to finish him. I see the fight ending by knockout. He’s a fighter that stands in front of you and is brave, and I do the same thing. So it’ll be a knockout,” said Nery when asked for a prediction about his fight with ‘Monster’ Inoue if it ever happens.

“I’m here to fight anyone that is out there, but we would like Inoue. The styles. I see Fulton as much bigger than Inoue and 50-50,” said Nery when asked who wins the Naoya Inoue vs. Stephen Fulton fight.

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“That fight was the best thing that ever happened to me because, honestly, it opened my eyes outside of the ring, and I made changes, and here are the results [knockout of ‘Crazy A.],” Nery said about his knockout loss to Brandon Figueroa in 2021. “I’m here to fight whoever, and I’m going to dedicate myself to training.

Crazy A gave Nery problems

“Yes, there were punches that bothered me, especially when he grabbed me, which was a little bit dirty on his part, and he grabbed me and hit me in the body,” said Nery when asked if the shots from Hovhannisyan were bothering him. “Of course, it was bothering me, but nothing to worry about.

“Since the ninth round. In the ninth round, I knew I was going to finish him before the 11th or 12th. He was hurt every time I punched him, and I knew he was getting hurt, and I knew. ‘This guy is mine,” said Nery about his belief during the fight that he would eventually stop ‘Crazy A’ Hovhannisyan.

“Only swollen. Nothing to worry about. I’m good,” Nery said when asked if he was hurt by Hovhannisyan. “