Naoya Inoue Looking For Unification Fights, Potential Move To Super-Bantamweight

After he once again successfully defended the WBA, IBF, and The Ring Bantamweight Titles, Naoya Inoue is ready for a productive 2022, regardless of which division he competes in.

Earlier this morning (December 14), Inoue beat Aran Dipaen via TKO to retain his titles. It was his first time competing in Japan since signing with Top Rank. Holding bantamweight gold since 2018, Inoue is looking to expand his collection. If he doesn't get his way, however, he could end up switching divisions.

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"I've been placing a lot of importance on unifying the four belts, but if the individual fights don't happen, I'll start thinking about the super bantamweight title," Inoue said (h/t BoxingScene).

Inoue is referring to WBC Bantamweight Champion Nonito Donaire and WBO Bantamweight Champion John Riel Casimero.

Donaire recently beat Reymart Gaballo to retain the WBC belt. He faced Inoue in 2019, losing in the finals of the World Boxing Super Series Bantamweight tournament. Casimero has been WBO champion since 2019. He recently fought in August, beating Guillermo Rigondeaux via split decision. The 31-year-old was supposed to fight this month but his bout with Paul Butler was postponed due to medical reasons. Casimero and Donaire were set to fight one another in August before insults and drug testing issues nixed those plans.

Inoue made his pro debut in 2012. He is a former WBO Junior-Bantamweight Champion, having defended the title seven times. Bantamweight champion since 2018, Inoue has fought three times for Top Rank.

The super-bantamweight champions are Stephen Fulton (WBC, WBO) and Murodjon Akhmadaliev (WBA, IBF).

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