“The Monster” Unleashed: Inoue plans triple threat in 2024!

By Chris Williams - 12/28/2023 - Comments

Undisputed super bantamweight champion Naoya ‘Monster’ Inoue (26-0, 23 KOs) plans on defending his newly won 122-lb championship three times in 2024 against these potential opponents: Luis Nery, Murodjon Akhmadaliev and John Riel Casimero.

The possible locations for the three fights are in Saudi Arabia and the Tokyo Dome in Japan. Inoue’s promoter Hideyuki Ohashi, revealed the news of the opponents and locations for the fights.

Signs of wear and tear?

Fans on social media are less elated at the three opponents, as two of them were recently beaten, and the third has a checkered past. No one asked for Inoue to fight any of these opponents, and it shows weakness on his part that he’s picking these three. Has Inoue lost his nerve after the punishment he took against Marlon Tapales?

  • Murodjon Akhmadaliev is a former IBF & WBA super bantamweight champion recently beaten by Marlon Tapales. Akhmadaliev (12-1, 9 KOs) won his last fight against Kevin Gozalez.
  • John Riel Casimero: The 34-year-old Casimero was beaten by Jonas Sultan in 2017, and has a controversial a 12 proud split decision win over 41-year-old Guillermo Rigondeaux in 2021. Rigondeaux totally outboxed Casimero in a fight that was completely one-sided. 
  • Luis Nery: Beaten recently by Brandon Figueroa by a seventh round knockout in 2021.

For ‘Monster’ Inoue to be fighting these three suggests that he’s not confident about going any further than the super bantamweight division to move up to featherweight to try and become a three-division undisputed champion.

It’s no secret that Inoue took a lot of heavy shots in his tenth round knockout win over IBF & WBA super bantamweight champion Marlon Tapales this week on December 26th at the Ariake Arena, Tokyo, Japan.

Inoue won the fight, but his power didn’t look the same as it had been in the other four weight classes that he’s competed in.

For fans accustomed to seeing ‘Monster’ Inoue blast out his opponents with single shots, they were shocked to see his punches not have the same reaction at 122 compared to what it had done to fighters at 108, 112, 115, and 118.

Inoue got hit a lot by Tapales with punches that snapped his head back, and he would have been in serious trouble if the Filipino fighter had been busier.

If Inoue moved up to 126, he’d have to fight these guys, who would walk through his punches and deliver a lot of bombers on his chin:

– Rafael Espinoza: WBO
– Rey Vargas: WBC
– Luis Lopez: IBF
– Otabek Kholmatov vs. Raymond Ford winner: WBA

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