Luis Nery may have a fight against former world champion Juan Carlos Payano up next, but he has his sights set on regaining his WBC bantamweight title.
During the final Manny Pacquiao vs. Keith Thurman press conference, Nery spoke about current champion Nordine Oubaali's most recent title defense which took place on July 6. In that fight, Oubaali dominated Arthur Villanueva en route to a stoppage win after six rounds to retain his title for the first time since winning the belt back in January.
"I don't think Nordine Oubaali fought well at all. He's a good fighter but I don't see him doing well in the ring with me. That's my title and I'm going to win it back, 100 percent. He's the champion but that's my title and I'm ready for the opportunity and he's going to have to step his game up when he gets in the ring with me," Nery said.
Nery could potentially fight for the title down the road, possibly in 2020. WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman said Oubaali should defend his title next against mandatory challenger Takuma Inoue. After that fight happens, Nery would then be the mandatory challenger for the title against the winner of an Oubaali vs. Inoue matchup. Nery originally held the WBC title up until late February last year when he was way overweight before a title defense against Shinsuke Yamanaka in Japan.
The WBC stripped Nery of the title and handed him a suspension that lasted several months. During that time, the WBC looked to have a new titleholder, but with planned fights falling through, the governing body also created an interim title while a new world champion would be crowned. Inoue won the interim belt late last year in Japan with a win over Petch Sor Chitpattana
As for Nery's current fight against Payano, a win could mean one step closer to getting another shot at the title. That fight will take place on July 20 as part of the Pacquiao vs. Thurman main card. Fightful will have live coverage of the entire event, including the FOX prelim card which includes an IBF super middleweight title bout between Caleb Plant and Mike Lee.