Naoya Inoue Officially Announces Move To Super-Bantamweight: “This Is The Real Fight Coming Up”

By James Slater - 01/13/2023 - Comments

It hasn’t come as anything like surprising news, but Japanese superstar Naoya Inoue has made it official: he will vacate his four bantamweight titles as he makes the move up to 122 pounds in his next fight. Inoue held a press conference today in Japan, during which “The Monster” confirmed what we already knew – he will look to become world champion in a fourth weight division, with the 29 year old’s goal being that of unifying the 122 pound division the way he unified the bantamweight division.

Inoue, perfect at 24-0(21) has nothing left to fight, to accomplish, at bantamweight, and he is now excited about going after more prey.

“I’m vacating my titles and moving up to super-bantamweight, and I think that goal can become a reality in the near future,” Inoue said, amidst reports that say his next fight is already being negotiated. “There is nothing left to do and no one I want to fight in the bantamweight division. It will be a challenge against opponents who are bigger than me but this is the real fight coming up. I’m really excited about it. Even moving up to super-bantamweight, I still want to aim to become the undisputed champion. To be undisputed champion in two weight classes would be a world’s first and a fantastic achievement.”

Inoue, who won his first world title down at light-flyweight, this back in 2014, went on to say how he feels it will take him a similar amount of time to unify the 122 pound division as it took him to unify all four belts at 118 pounds, this being four years and eight months. Inoue says the goal of unifying the belts at 122 will very likely be “the final chapter for me.”

So, Inoue doesn’t plan on going any higher than 122, and at 5’5” tall, this is no doubt a smart move. Becoming a legit world champion at four weights, being unified champ at two of those weights, would of course be a massive accomplishment, one that would secure Inoue’s place in the history books (not that he hasn’t written his own chapter already). But can Inoue, A: get the fights he wants at 122, and, B: can Inoue defeat the current champions at super-bantamweight? As fans know, Stephen Fulton currently holds the WBC and WBO titles at the weight, while Murodjon Akhmadaliev is the current champ with the WBA and the IBF.

Which ruling champion will Inoue fight first at the new weight? 2023 promises to be another exciting year for Naoya Inoue, and he himself might be the person who is the most excited when it comes to his latest quest. Might “The Monster” prove to be a fighter who devours all in his path and retires with an unbeaten record when the time comes?